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Winship Cancer Institute at Emory Midtown Welcomes First Patients

SOM’s design helps Emory Healthcare introduce a new kind of cancer care facility envisioned to serve the needs of patients.


Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), May Architecture, Emory University Hospital Midtown (EUHM), and Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University welcomed the first patients to the new Winship Cancer Institute at Emory Midtown center for cancer care. The 17-story facility brings more than 450,000 square feet of inpatient, outpatient, and research facilities to the existing Emory University Hospital Midtown campus and Winship Cancer Institute—which is currently the only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in the state of Georgia. The new facility, designed to accommodate the needs of patients, serves as a new paradigm for hospital design and ultimately enhances access to cancer care and services in Atlanta, Georgia, and beyond. 

The building houses comprehensive oncology facilities, including inpatient beds, surgical capacity, infusion treatment, outpatient clinics, diagnostic imaging, linear accelerators, and areas for wellness, rehabilitation, and clinical research. The project engages Winship Cancer Institute to build and sustain its distinctive cancer programs through recruitment, retention, engagement, and development of faculty, staff, and trainees. 

“The opening of the new Winship at Emory Midtown is a milestone that we believe will set a new standard in cancer care now and for many years to come,” says Suresh Ramalingam, MD, executive director, Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University. “The new center perfectly complements Winship’s  approach to cancer care, which centers around the patient, streamlining and personalizing their care while integrating research to bring them the very latest and most effective treatments. We are thrilled to open the doors on May 9 and welcome in our patients and families.”

Through a highly inclusive effort, with more than 160 collaborators across Winship’s leadership, patients, clinicians, volunteers, staff, and construction teams, Winship at Emory Midtown challenges the established practices of hospital design. To achieve breakthrough improvements over traditional design, SOM and May Architecture employed a unique and highly collaborative process that created the forum needed to drive innovative thinking and inclusion from start to finish.

Central to the building’s design are its two-story “care communities,” each focused on a specific type of cancer. Within these, services normally distributed throughout a hospital are organized into one-stop destinations that combine exam, consultation, infusion, and supportive functions—resulting in a series of intimate communities that are tailored to the journey of each patient. Not only do these “care communities” minimize, or in some cases eliminate, the need for patients to wait, they also unite fellow patients and families together and allow specialists to visit both inpatients and outpatients without ever leaving the two floors. 

“We see this as nothing short of a paradigm-shifting project,” explains SOM Healthcare Practice Leader Anthony Treu, AIA, ACHA. “The team was asked to create a breakthrough project that would define the next generation of cancer care. This project delivers on that opportunity by reconsidering the perceived fundamentals of healthcare design.”

The care communities informed the design of the exterior, which is expressed in two-story facade increments that give the tower an approachable scale on Atlanta’s iconic Peachtree Street. Reflecting Emory’s commitment to a new level of community engagement, the building meets the street with a transparent storefront and welcomes patients and visitors with a hotel-like drop-off leading into the main lobby. Within the building, a retail boutique, pharmacy, wellness center, cafe, and multipurpose spaces for future offerings of yoga, music therapy, education, and art therapy seamlessly cater to the patient’s entire care experience. 

“Winship Cancer Institute at Emory Midtown will transform the delivery of oncology care for years to come,” said May Architecture’s Founding Principal Gil May, AIA, IIDA, LEED AP. “This endeavor is the culmination of many years of ongoing work with Emory Healthcare and the Winship Cancer Institute, combined with the groundbreaking design and leadership of SOM. This reimagined design succeeds in putting the patient at the center of care to an extent never before accomplished.”

Through a holistic approach to energy-efficient design, the building will expend almost 40 percent less energy annually than the average hospital in Atlanta. The project is on track for a predicted Energy Use Intensity (pEUI) of 136 kBtu per square foot per year, a 32 percent improvement from typical hospitals in the United States, which expend 220 kBtu per square foot per year on average. The high-performance facade optimizes glazing and window-to-wall ratios, and the building features energy-efficient recovery mechanical equipment with chilled beams and direct-outside air units. Water usage is reduced through the collection of all stormwater for reuse in irrigation and chiller plants. Within the building, daylight, views, and thermal comfort create an environment that supports recovery. The use of low VOC materials further contribute to a high-quality indoor environment. The project is targeting LEED Silver certification. 

Winship at Emory Midtown’s innovative and reimagined design reflects the exciting medical advances happening in the field of cancer care and research. As a center for wellness, it reconsiders how an urban medical center relates to its neighborhood. The building helps Emory Healthcare remain at the vanguard of cancer care and raises the bar for medical facility designs in the future.

About Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) is a global practice of architects, designers, engineers, and planners, responsible for some of the world’s most technically and environmentally advanced buildings and significant public spaces. From a strategic regional plan to a single piece of furniture, SOM’s designs anticipate change in the way we live, work and communicate, and have brought lasting value to communities around the world. The firm’s approach is highly collaborative, and its interdisciplinary team is engaged in a wide range of international projects, with creative studios based across the globe. SOM is a net zero emissions business. Read our Climate Action Report to learn more.

About May Architecture
Founded in 2006 and headquartered in Midtown Atlanta, May Architecture is an award-winning firm focused on transformational design. Their services have advanced the missions of many nationally ranked healthcare clients. Their team works through a unique collaborative approach in order to find solutions that lead to better results. They create environments that accommodate the needs of providers and staff for efficient and effective care; spaces that support new treatment research and development; and settings that allow providers and staff to connect with patients and their families on a more intimate level. They believe in the power of healthcare design to improve the patient experience and to contribute to better patient outcomes. To learn more about how we work, visit

About Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University
Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University is dedicated to discovering cures for cancer and inspiring hope. As Georgia’s only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, Winship researches, teaches, disseminates and provides novel and highly effective ways to prevent, detect, diagnose, treat and survive cancer. For more information, visit

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