Inova Schar Cancer Institute Opens

We are excited to share that the new Inova Schar Cancer Institute has opened to patients.  A key part of Inova Health System’s new Center for Personalized Health, the Inova Schar Cancer Institute is one of the country’s pre-eminent cancer centers devoted to applying genomic science to individualized cancer therapy. Serving as a hub for Inova’s clinical, research and technological expertise, the new flagship location of the Inova Schar Cancer Institute in Fairfax is the first facility in Northern Virginia and the broader D.C. region to offer complete, patient-centric cancer care.

Prior to Inova’s acquisition of the project site, the existing buildings served as Exxon Mobil’s corporate headquarters campus.  Constructed between 1979 and 1989,the facility prioritized security and seclusion. Hidden among the trees at the intersection of the Capital Beltway and Route 50, its dark, foreboding four buildings and five glass towers were the antithesis of a patient-friendly facility. The campus was difficult to navigate, with disconnected pathways and a dark interior.

To transform these facilities into a state-of-the-art cancer center, the design team prioritized development of a functional and aesthetically pleasing solution for the exterior as well as a re-imagination of the interior to promote a healing environment and provide easier access and wayfinding for patients and visitors.  By re-skinning the central tower with a genomic glass pattern and adding an airy pavilion to the main entrance, the team successfully transformed the facility’s image into both a celebration of Inova’s research and practice and a beacon for visiting patients and families alike. Based on collaboration with the patient family advisory committee, the design team emphasized biophilia, which helped bring a sense of warmth and cohesion to the interior.

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