Kaplan Family Pavilion

CompanyBelzberg Architects
Lead DesignerHagy Belzberg
Design TeamDaniel Rentsch (Project Manager) Andrew Kim, Ashley Coon, David Cheung, Cory Taylor, Susan Nwankpa, Micah Belzberg, Chris Sanford, Kristofer Leese, Chris Arntzen
PrizeGold in Architectural Design / Healthcare Architecture

As modern medicine has evolved, so too has our understanding of health. Recently, there has been a shift towards a holistic approach to healthcare that now includes mental and spiritual well-being, and our relationship to the environment as preventative care. To reflect this change, our design of the Kaplan Family Pavilion at the City of Hope not only introduces a new architectural language to our client’s campus, but creates environments to support and encourage Wellness. Our client, a leading research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life- threatening diseases, initially proposed replacing a building to the west of our site, but we were inspired by the “wishing trees” found across campus; tied to their branches are hundreds of messages of hope for the health of loved ones. Instead, we suggested moving the site slightly east to re-align an off-axis promenade on the campus grid, and to make an existing century-old camphor tree the project’s focal point. Our 7,000sqft project comprises two buildings that wrap around the camphor, housing new space for exhibits, events, administrative offices, and storage. The LEED Platinum Pavilion uses the landscape to shape the built form and vice versa. Two billowing, sinuous concrete walls protect the entrances on either side of the tree while subtly genuflecting and twisting to create seating that faces an irregular, oblong bench around the camphor. The result is an outdoor sanctuary where visitors can enjoy fresh air while protected by the shade of the mature tree. 75 backlit LED plaques along the surface of both concrete walls also highlight the City of Hope’s many milestones with room to add future accomplishments. The buildings’ openness to the north minimizes heat gain and exposure, but also led to additional drought- tolerant planting to draw a strong connection between the occupants and the outdoors.