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VOA's DC office (headed by John Jessen, center, with colleagues Jody Beasley and Todd Combs)
Laser beams. That's why all little boys dream of going into real estate when they grow up, right? Well, NYC is getting its very own proton center. VOA's DC office (headed by John Jessen, center, with colleagues Jody Beasley and Todd Combs) is one of only three architecture teams in the world that design these cancer-treatment centers, where a proton beam targets the shape and size of tumor, avoiding healthy tissue and minimizing radiation exposure. Think of it like a heat-seeking missile.
Upper East Side Park
There are only eight proton centers in the US, and VOA is designing No. 9 for this space on the Upper East Side, the team tells our DC reporter. At 125k SF, this one, going where this park is now, will be the largest proton center yet. Groundbreaking will be in spring 2012, and the base will take one year. Then it'll take a year to build the accelerator while a 500k SF residential tower rises on top. The first treatment room could be up and running by late 2014.
Proton Center, New York
To preserve green and open space for the community, VOA designed an outdoor terrace (below), used a smaller ground floor, and placed the proton accelerator and treatment rooms (17-foot-thick walls)below ground. That also allows equipment maintenance to be done from above, and the Manhattan bedrock helps contain all that physics stuff. Two atria will bring light downstairs into the waiting rooms.
Proton Center
The site turned out to be 20 feet too short for an accelerator, so VOA will excavate under neighboring properties. Yes, that's allowed in New York, since no one's fighting over the right to mine bedrock.