Smilow Cancer Center at Yale New Haven

Improving the patient experience - the Art of Healing

CAMA was brought in at the project’s onset to set the goals and parameters for an evidence-based design solution. 

The early planning and benchmarking empowered leadership to incorporate amazing amounts of daylight into a tight urban site, including a 7th floor healing garden that is accessible to the entire medical campus. 

Smilow is the first single-bedded tower on the medical campus with distributed nursing allowing for safe and direct care.  Upon construction, CAMA was brought back into the project to establish and implement a healing arts program. 

An interdisciplinary art committee was assembled and an initial period was set aside to align the strategic goals of the project with the evidence that art supports healing.  This committee established a vision and mission that guided how artists would be sought and the types of works that would be considered.  

This committee was dedicated to showcasing the work of local artists—many of whom were patients or had family members who were patients at Smilow. By working with these artists, we were able to orchestrate and galvanize the creation of a healing arts program that generated a powerful and deeply emotional sense of pride that continues to promote the arts as a critical component of healing spaces.  


SCOPE: Evidence-Based Design Consulting, Art Consulting

CLIENT: Smilow Cancer Center at Yale-New Haven, New Haven, CT

SIZE: 516,500 SF; 700 works of art

BUDGET: $280 million

ART BUDGET: $750,000

PARTNERS: Shepley Bulfinch Richardson and Abbott (Architect), Towers|Golde (Landscape Architect), Roll Baressi (Wayfinding)

PHOTO CREDIT: Rick Scanlon