Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center


Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center

Cancer Center Blends Research & Clinical Services to Accelerate Discovery

The Fred and Pamela Buffett Cancer Center is designed to place researchers working in laboratories just steps away from clinicians caring for patients. The collaboration, communication and problem-solving fostered in special translational “knowledge transfer” zones inspires trans-disciplinary integration and accelerates individualized patient treatments based on the latest research and a patient’s own cancer cells. With the ultimate goal of achieving the National Cancer Institute’s prestigious Comprehensive Cancer Center status, seven floors of the research tower are dedicated to different types of cancer attracting the world’s foremost scientists.

For patients receiving care, the 108-bed inpatient tower rests adjacent to a multidisciplinary outpatient center where patients go for diagnosis, plan of care and treatment.

The brainchild of the University of Nebraska Medical Center and the Nebraska Medical Center, key features of the Fred & Pamela Buffett Cancer Center include:

  • The center creates a central, easily navigated destination on the UNMC campus with research, clinical care and education integrated on the east-west axis, and cancer care with other health services on the north-south axis. Spaces within the center are designed to enhance the patient experience through physical and emotional connections.
  • “Knowledge transfer” zones are placed at intersecting corners between the hospital and research functions and combine formal and informal spaces to reinforce collaboration between researcher and clinician, researcher and researcher, and clinician and clinician. Their location takes advantage of natural light and stack up vertically with “paired” knowledge zones, adding a dynamic flow through shared functions between levels.
  • A simplified patient journey means the facility supports a smooth, seamless care delivery process — from the moment an initial appointment is made to the last check-up or follow-up a patient may have.
  • The lobby serves as a welcoming point and source of comfort and respite. It is directly accessed from the drop-off entry and also from the Durham Outpatient Center by escalator.
  • An interactive Resource Center on the second level is easily accessed by patients and staff. It has an open lounge and library for research and a multi-purpose classroom and volunteer workroom for arts and crafts as well as health and wellness classes.
  • The spa-like Renewal Center includes salon services, prostheses and wig consultation and fitting, massage, aromatherapy, acupuncture and other approved alternative therapies.
  • The exterior design responds to the existing campus context, but maintains its own identity as a contemporary, iconic extension of both research and hospital.
University of Nebraska Medical Center and Nebraska Medicine

Omaha, NE
United States

615,000 sf (57,135 m²)


Honor Award, Healthcare (2020)
CRSI HONORS Design and Construction Awards
Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute
Winner (2020)
Interior Design Excellence Awards
International Interior Design Association, Great Plains Chapter
Illumination Award of Merit (2019)
Illuminating Engineering Society
Honor Award (2019)
Engineering Excellence Awards
American Council of Engineering Companies
Grand Award (2019)
Engineering Excellence Awards
American Council of Engineering Companies of Nebraska
Best Project (2018)
Engineering News-Record Midwest
Healthcare Design Showcase Awards, Honorable Mention (2018)
Healthcare Design Magazine
AEI Professional Project Award, Winner (2018)
Most Innovative Project (greater than $100 million) Category
The American Society of Civil Engineers' Architectural Engineering Institute
Build Nebraska Award (2017)
Specialty Contractor Category, Electrical
Associated General Contractors, Nebraska Building Chapter
ACI Nebraska Award of Excellence, Winner (2017)
American Concrete Institute, Nebraska Chapter