Sculptural Seating of The Kaplan Family Pavilion at City of Hope in California by Belzberg Architects

Located in Duarte, California, the Kaplan Family Pavilion sits on the campus of City of Hope, a cancer research and treatment center. What is possibly the most notable feature of this project is the sculptural outdoor seating that literally flows from the building itself.

Designed by Santa Monica-based Belzberg Architects, the concrete wave-like structure is planned around an old camphor tree. Its composition and form create a serene outdoor sanctuary of sorts, forming an integral part of the entire scheme which offers a nice place to relax and unwind.

Here’s a description from the architects,

As healthcare has evolved, so too has our understanding of health and well-being. More recently, there has been a shift towards a more holistic approach to healthy living that includes mental and spiritual well-being, and our relationship to the environment as preventative measures. For the Kaplan Family Pavilion at the City of Hope (CoH), a leading research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases, our team set out to not only introduce a new architectural language on campus, but to also design environments that would support and encourage wellness.

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The Pavilion is a LEED Platinum-certified, multi-use space at the heart of the CoH’s Duarte campus adding 7,000 square feet of new space for exhibits, events, administrative offices, and storage. The project uses the landscape to shape the built form and vice versa. The interior comprises two buildings that wrap around a century-old camphor tree to create an intimate, outdoor sanctuary that represents the nexus of CoH’s historic grounds. Two billowing, sinuous concrete walls protect the entrances to either side of the Pavilion while subtly genuflecting and twisting to create seating to face an irregular, oblong bench around the tree. 75 backlit LED plaques along the surface of both concrete walls also highlight the City of Hope’s many milestones while leaving room for future accomplishments to be added. The buildings’ openness to the north avoids excessive heat gain and exposure, but also led to additional drought-tolerant planting to draw a strong connection between the occupants and the outdoors.

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The Pavilion’s location re-aligns an off-axis promenade on the campus grid while alluding to the tradition of ‘wishing trees’ found elsewhere on campus and around the world. It continues to draw visitors from across the City of Hope’s community, offering respite and a place for reflection to support healing and wellness.

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Status: Completed 2014
Project Type: Cultural; Pavilion, Event-space
Building Type: New
Size: 7000 sf
Location: Duarte, CA
Sustainability Credentials: LEED Platinum

Principal: Hagy Belzberg
Project Manager: Daniel Rentsch
Project Team: Ashley Coon, David Cheung, Christopher Arntzen, Andrew Kim, Kris Leese, Chris Sanford, Susan Nwankpa

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