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UPMC Mercy Pavilion Building Project Overview

UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh have a strong collaborative relationship.

UPMC has a long, rich history as an academic medical center. We're embracing design concepts that will provide a space for learning and teaching within the health care setting.

The 410,000-square-foot, 10-story UPMC Mercy Pavilion will be home to:

  • Outpatient eye care and rehabilitation/physical therapy (PT).
  • Research labs.
  • UPMC’s renowned rehabilitation and vision doctor-scientists and their teams.

Meeting a Full Range of Vision and Rehabilitation Needs

Clinic-gym hybrid

The UPMC Mercy Pavilion will include an innovative, low-vision, clinic-gym hybrid that features:

  • An interactive healing center.
  • Exam rooms.
  • Therapy stations.
  • A central gym.
  • Floor-to-ceiling windows, providing views of Mount Washington and the South Side Slopes.

Fully functional apartment, street simulation lab, and healing garden

The apartment and street lab at the UPMC Mercy Pavilion will offer interactive learning to teach you crucial life skills.

The healing garden on the rooftop terrace will have training ramps and stairs.

It will give you a safe place to learn how to manage everyday outdoor obstacles like:

  • Ramps.
  • Stairs.
  • Diverse surfaces.

Urgent eye care

Rather than going to the ER and getting transferred to a vision specialist, the urgent care eye clinic will:

  • Provide rapid assessments and treatments for emergent eye conditions.
  • Give you fast access to an on-site eye disease expert.

Collaborative staircase for doctors and researchers

Giving new meaning to bench-to-bedside care, the pavilion features a staircase where doctors and researchers can “meet in the middle” to:

  • Discuss the urgent needs of patients.
  • Act on real-time feedback to provide care.

For our staff who can't use the stairs, a glass elevator will offer the same experience.

Accessible Parking at the UPMC Mercy Pavilion

A six-story parking garage will have 1,100 parking spaces for patients and staff.

The garage will feature a parking guidance system for people with vision impairments. A green light means a parking space is open. A red light means the space is not open.

A walking bridge will connect the new pavilion to the third floor of UPMC Mercy.

Patient-Centered Design

HOK — a global design, architecture, engineering, and planning firm — designed the pavilion with input from Chris Downey, AIA. Mr. Downey is one of the world’s few blind architects.

The floor plans and design aim to:

  • Foresee patients' needs and help them navigate the building.
  • Streamline patient care.
  • Create a welcoming, engaging, and warm setting for patients, visitors, and staff.

Central pods on surgical floors will make it easier for patients to go from an exam to:

  • Get test results.
  • Pick up prescriptions at the in-house pharmacy.
  • Go for rehab or other treatments.

Exam rooms will have technology that offers interactive and real-time patient education.

The building's lighting provides contrast and brightness. Other materials and textures aid people with canes and sound as a wayfinding tool.

Art as Therapy and Inspiration

Art can inspire, engage, and transform its viewers. And art will play a powerful and versatile role in the UPMC Mercy Pavilion.

UPMC will create a new standard for how we include art in the building, focusing on the patient experience.

Unique and commissioned works will:

  • Bring to life various senses — seeing, hearing, touching, and smelling.
  • Aim to engage patients and visitors in an ever-changing but easily traversed and memorable journey through the building.
  • Play a central role as a wayfinding tool to define space and support self-navigation.
  • Promote healing and improve outcomes.

New Approaches to Vison and Rehabilitation Research

Translational science will be the core focus of research at the UPMC Mercy Pavilion.

We'll take what we learn in the lab and move it to:

  • Diagnostics.
  • Treatments.
  • Behavioral interventions.

UPMC is a leader in National Eye Institute funding.

We have 22 research labs devoted to understanding the visual systems and why and how disease affects sight.

Our main areas of research include:

  • Biology of cells, development, and molecules.
  • Cell signaling.
  • Immune system and eye disease.
  • Molecular genetics.
  • Ocular imaging.
  • Viral eye diseases.

Rehabilitation teams at UPMC are leading the field in novel innovations.

The National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research designates UPMC as a model system of traumatic brain and spinal cord injury care.

The Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Pitt is among the top recipients in awards from the National Institutes of Health.