Rafael Viñoly Architects - Clyde F. Barker Penn Transplant House Print
Monday, 20 June 2011 06:48

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Rafael Viñoly Architects has just announced the completion of the Clyde F. Barker Penn Transplant House   Named after the physician who performed the first kidney transplant at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in 1966, the Barker Transplant House will offer comfortable, convenient accommodations in a supportive community setting and at a nominal cost. 
Rafael Viñoly Architects - Clyde F. Barker Penn Transplant House ⓒ Ty Cole

All photographs ⓒTy Cole

Conceived as a ‘home away from home,’ the site will house transplant patients at subsidized rates and offer comfortable hotel rooms where guests can reside while navigating these emotionally and financially difficult situations.  The building is being partially funded by public donations and the design and construction teams (including Rafael Viñoly Architects) worked on a pro-bono basis.
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The Penn Transplant Institute medical team developed the concept of the Barker Transplant House in response to the need for low-cost housing for families of transplant patients.  As patients grow weaker – and, in some cases, disabled – while awaiting a compatible donor organ, they often become totally dependent on spouses and family members who, in addition to being their sole means of financial support, become their round-the-clock caregivers. 

Rafael Viñoly Architects’ design responds to this mission by maintaining a residential scale while simultaneously encouraging a supportive, communal environment through the building’s roof line, massing, and façade.
This “home away from home” also offers familiar, domestic comforts including: furnished bedrooms, a family meeting room, dining area, communal kitchen with modern facilities, a laundry room, and computers with Internet access. In addition to easing the logistical and financial burdens facing transplant families, the Barker House will also act as a community center with some of the social spaces designated for the wider transplant community.

The building design integrates the Transplant House within the surrounding 3-4 story residential neighborhood while also consisting of a subtly different volume.  The courtyard functions as the central organizing feature of the design and is intended to create a prominent sense of place for patients and families alike. Guest bedrooms are organized around the courtyard, with each unit receiving a generous south-facing sloped roof to allow natural daylight directly into the room.  All of the bedrooms are located on one level to allow for limited vertical circulation and a strong sense of connection among guests.

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Last Updated on Monday, 20 June 2011 07:30