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Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute

Hershey, PA

Penn State Hershey’s Cancer Institute is the region’s only comprehensive cancer center. Attached to the Main Hospital, it was built to consolidate patient care and academic research in one facility. As such, many areas are off-limits to the general public; the wayfinding challenge was to clearly segregate the two areas.

Prominent wayfinding information highlights public corridors, working in tandem with lighting, architecture and interior design. Limited wayfinding is provided for research staff, since they’re familiar with the building.

Because the Cancer Institute and the Main Hospital are physically linked, each building’s signage has a designated color to indicate the transition. Each public building on the campus shares common interior signage standards.

On the exterior, an “airport terminal” approach was designed to provide a linear experience: patients are dropped at the appropriate entrance, and parking is available in an adjacent garage. The exterior signage locations were developed accordingly: perpendicular to the flow of traffic, visible from a distance, and with sufficient contrast for easy legibility.

All of this was thoughtfully designed to alleviate stress for the Cancer Institute’s patients and visitors. By simplifying the environment, we help to remove potential barriers, and allow them to freely access their care.