Design Award Entries

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Radiation Oncology Center

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) engaged WDD and Tsoi Kobus to program, plan, and design their new Center for Radiation Oncology (ROC). The ROC enhances existing synergies between UAMS clinical care, research, and medical education to deliver world class, personalized cancer care, wellness, and prevention, including the first proton therapy facility in Arkansas. The 60,000 sf ROC replaces an existing radiation oncology facility on the UAMS campus.

Project Statement

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), in partnership with other local area hospitals created the first proton therapy center in Arkansas, called the Radiation Oncology Center (ROC). ROC replaces an existing radiation oncology facility on the UAMS campus, providing expanded photon, HDR, and proton treatment capabilities with advanced imaging. The new ROC takes advantage of a steeply sloping site with a unique design developed by Tsoi Kobus which “nests” the large concrete bunkers and capitalizes on shared shielding walls to reduce costs. Tsoi Kobus has also recommended the selective use of high-density concrete to reduce vault footprint and volume, creating more space for other critical functions with no net increase to overall SF area. The program provides four new Linear Accelerators on Level One and an IBA Proteus One proton therapy vault on Level Two with associated clinical support. Level Two will also house an HDR Brachytherapy suite. Each Level houses a dedicated CT for imaging and simulations. The new ROC occupies a prominent location at the eastern entrance to the UAMS campus. Tsoi Kobus developed a signature exterior design for this high-profile site, while carefully managing UAMS’s strict budget and ambitious schedule, including an early Bid Package for site work, foundations, and six concrete vaults.

The IBA Proteus One proton therapy emits a large amount of radiation requiring special considerations during construction to contain the free radicals moving throughout the hospital after a radiation treatment. Using high density concrete, bunkers were constructed with 11 ft. thick walls and 6ft. thick ceilings to house the Proton Therapy medical equipment. When entering the vaults for treatment, patients can personalize their experience by choosing artwork or projections along the walls of the vault.

ROC’s design was centered around creating a relaxing, transformative care experience for cancer patients. To achieve this, the design was centered on outdoor views, access to natural light using skylights in interior corridors and full height windows in offices, waiting rooms, lobbies, and treatment planning rooms. The waiting areas focused on a healing garden and an impressive two-story glass sculpture. Rich materials and finishes, statement lighting, natural wood tones, and blue calming colors create a high-end experience for users.