Progress continues on design and planning of University of Chicago Medicine's new breakthrough cancer center

UChicago Medicine Cancer Center
A rendering of the cancer center which will be built on East 57th Street between South Maryland and Drexel Avenues in Chicago.

February 15, 2023

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After months of community engagement, design and planning work with Blue Cottage of CannonDesign, Yazdani Studio and CannonDesign, groundbreaking on the pavilion took place in September 2023.

The updated design is a 575,000-square-foot facility with room for expansion, and includes these key features:

  • The ground floor will focus on community-based efforts—including prevention, screening and diagnostic spaces
  • 80 inpatient beds, including 64 medical-surgical beds and a 16-bed intensive care unit
  • A dedicated urgent care clinic to protect immunocompromised cancer patients from extended emergency room visits 
  • Private infusion bays grouped by cancer type for patient comfort and privacy
  • A dedicated breast center
  • 90 consultation and outpatient exam rooms

Through this project, UChicago Medicine is boldly working to redefine how cancer is researched, treated, diagnosed and ultimately prevented, and our wide range of services helps the storied institution reimagine the entire spectrum of cancer and patient care, from arrival to treatment to survivorship.

“We will be building a model for groundbreaking cancer care and prevention—established on the principles of access, equity, dignity and innovation—right here on the South Side of Chicago,” said Mark Anderson, MD, PhD, Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs at the University of Chicago. “With our long history of achievements in cancer and the great benefit of being interconnected with the University of Chicago, our new cancer facility will provide fertile ground for high-impact research so that we can tackle cancer’s toughest challenges, dramatically shorten the drug-development timeline, deliver the care that the community needs, and save more lives."

This cancer center will not only treat and save countless lives, but also seeks to be an investment in the city of Chicago, and its oft-neglected South Side. UChicago Medicine notes the incidence of cancer on the South Side is projected to increase 19 percent in the next five years, compared to 9.1percent in the five collar counties surrounding the City of Chicago.

With that in mind, 10 months of the planning process were devoted to getting feedback from the community through pushing out 200,000 surveys in-person and via social media and e-newsletters, conducting a telephone poll, hosting two town halls, attending community meetings, getting patient feedback as well as engaging faith leaders, community hospitals and civic officials. Much of this feedback contributed to the creation of a dedicated center for prevention, detection, treatment and survival, offering complementary therapies and stress reduction and community education.


  • It’s an honor to be UChicago Medicine's design partner. This isn’t about incremental change, it’s about taking an extraordinary step toward eradicating cancer and creating new opportunities for the way we treat the disease in Chicago and globally. Our partnership with UChicago Medicine and the community has been so rewarding and we’re excited to turn this design into a reality.

    Abbie Clary Project Executive and Co-Director of CannonDesign’s Health Practice

By every measure, UChicago Medicine’s goals for this cancer center are remarkable. The project will redefine cancer treatment and the cancer center typology. It will be designed to serve a wide spectrum of patient, clinician, research and community needs as it radically enhances the patient experience, drives the academic health system’s culture through immersive collaboration, and responds to future shifts in technology, diagnostics and/or treatment.

“UChicago Medicine is clear, they want to radically transform cancer care and treatment while enhancing patients’ experience,” said Mehrdad Yazdani, Director of Yazdani Studio of CannonDesign and Design Principal on the project. “Our responsibility is to provide a building and environment that enables that transformation. Transformation doesn’t just happen though. We have to be willing to step out of our comfort zones and embrace new ideas at every scale.”

As one of only two National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the state, UChicago Medicine’s new facility is poised to become a destination for cancer care not only for the neighboring South Side community but for Chicago and beyond. This new cancer hospital would consolidate care that is currently spread across at least five buildings on UChicago Medicine’s Hyde Park campus.

The design process is ongoing with continued input from UChicago Medicine’s clinicians, staff, patients and the community. The pavilion is slated for opening in 2027.