Photo by Edgar David, SED Design

FACILITY: Abramson Cancer Center Pavilion, housed at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine

LOCATION: Philadelphia


At the University of Pennsylvania Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine, patients and families sometimes need a place to get away and reflect. The challenge was that there was nowhere in the busy hospital environment where people could go to spend time in contemplation or to enjoy some fresh air when dealing with difficult diagnoses.

The philanthropic group, A Date With A Plate, supporting the families of patients, approached Penn Hospital with the idea of creating such a space. SED Design then was engaged to help create it.

When Penn Medicine and Rafael Viñoly Architects, which designed the Perelman Center, determined that a north-facing, fifth-floor rooftop could accommodate this need, SED Design began working with them and the A Date With A Plate team to realize the vision.

The team set out to create a unique space that would transport the visitor away from the hospital setting for at least a moment — a place where serene colors, complementary plantings, special features and comfortable seating would allow respite. The Serenity Garden was born.

“The Date With A Plate Serenity Garden is a place to find reprieve from the effects of treatment that can extend beyond physical health. We are so grateful for the support of Sharyn Berman and Judi Goodman — instrumental partners who helped make this space a reality for all of the patients who will benefit from truly holistic care,” states Lynn Schuchter, M.D., chief, hematology oncology, department of medicine, and C. Willard Robinson, professor of hematology-oncology, who originally presented the Serenity Garden idea at Penn Medicine’s Perelman Center.