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Work starts on Foster's $1.5bn Philadelphia mega-hospital

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Construction has begun on a major new hospital designed by Foster + Partners, on Penn Medicine’s West Philadelphia campus

The 16-storey scheme for the University of Pennsylvania in the US – officially The Pavilion project – will house 500 private patient rooms and 47 operating rooms on the site of the former Penn Tower (1974).

The 140,000m² facility will be the largest capital project in Penn’s history and is being billed as ’Philadelphia’s most sophisticated and ambitious healthcare project’.

The project also includes new space for inpatient care for cancer, heart and vascular medicine and surgery, neurology and neurosurgery, as well as a new emergency department.

At the heart of the hospital’s design is flexibility to adapt to the rapidly evolving healthcare field.

Foster + Partners head of studio and senior executive partner Nigel Dancey, who is leading the project, said: ’When setting out to design a hospital, the requirement is normally to improve on the existing model. Instead, we questioned this approach. The effort and determination of our whole multidisciplinary team to investigate every single detail of healthcare delivery and hospital design to drive change will lead to a hospital that makes a new benchmark for the future of healthcare.’

The AJ100’s top ranked practice is working with global healthcare design firm HDR, engineer BR+A and contractors LF Driscoll and Balfour Beatty. 

It is understood the new building will open in 2021.

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