The Floyd and Delores Jones Cancer Institute at Virginia Mason represents a radical departure from traditional cancer care delivery models. Instead of requiring patients to travel to different locations within a medical center for treatment, the Cancer Institute at Virginia Mason condenses a wide range of specialized care—hematology and oncology services, clinical trials, infusion rooms, on-site pharmacy and lab services, social work, and support groups—into one central location. Services flow to the patient, resulting in minimal wait times and seamless delivery of care.

The theme, “A Garden of Life,” ties the healing properties of nature to the facility's architectural design. The Garden of Life replaces a traditional waiting room with a series of spaces intended to inspire hope. Visitors can wait in various alcoves and seating areas or visit the meditation room, education center, or the café. Designers chose natural materials such as wood, water, and stone to help create an atmosphere of optimism.

Exam and treatment rooms are designed to recognize patients' humanity. Most rooms are located on the perimeter for access to natural light and are large enough to comfortably accommodate family members. Other smaller, but still meaningful, features include in-room bathrooms, flat-screen TVs, and soft, gentle lighting. Sliding doors inlaid with etched glass maintain privacy while connecting patients with immediately adjacent physicians, nurses, and customer service representatives.


The Cancer Institute at Virginia Mason offers patient-centered care and a complete healing environment for cancer patients, from the discovery of their diagnosis through their recovery.

Project category: Remodel/Renovation (completed January 2005)

Chief administrator: Gary Kaplan, MD, Chairman and CEO, (206) 223-6955

Firm: CollinsWoerman, (206) 245-2100

Design team: Brian Berg, Project Manager, Medical Planner; Sarah Reisenauer, Designer; June Mechure, Job Captain; Jose Leyva, Technical Architect (CollinsWoerman); Wendy Garrison, Interior Designer (Garrison Design)

Photography: © Lara Swimmer Photography; Virginia Mason Medical Photography

Total building area (sq. ft.): 16,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $250

Total construction cost (excluding land): $4,000,000