This outpatient cancer center creates a new front door for one of San Francisco's most important neighborhood hospitals. The new facility provides cancer treatment and research in a technologically advanced and compassionate setting.

The drop-off area and entrance atrium, with amenities including a pool of river rocks, a meditation room and an inviting reception area, encourage visitors' comfort and well-being. In the second-floor Breast Care Center, the reception area has the ambience of a living room. In the examination rooms, pale-colored paint, wood veneer countertops and wood floors complete the comfortable feeling. Custom side tables in the consultation rooms have built-in tape recorders so patients can record conversations with their doctors, as anxiety often prevents patients from recalling critical parts of their discussions.

The radiation oncology facility in the sub-basement continues this concern for the emotional well-being of patients and their loved ones. The architects brought natural light into the waiting area by using a skylight that connects the waiting area to the sky. A formed cloth ceiling and art glass enhance the daylight it provides. The linear accelerators and their shielded vaults were also carefully considered; as much as possible, potentially intimidating equipment is concealed behind casework, fabric panels or artwork. To soothe patients during long treatment sessions, each linear accelerator space incorporates a ceiling that replicates a starry night sky.

PROJECT CATEGORY New Construction (completed November 2000)

CHIEF ADMINISTRATOR Tim Mahaney, Director, Medical Center Facilities, (415) 885-3517

FIRM SmithGroup, Inc., (415) 227-0100

DESIGN TEAM William L. Diefenbach, AIA, Design Principal; Luminita Ruva-Ciupitu, AIA, Project Manager; Byron Bronston, AIA, Project Designer; Bill Rostenberg, FAIA, FACHA, Senior Medical Planner; Rebecca Nolan, Assoc. AIA, Interior Designer

PHOTOGRAPHY © Michael O'Callahan

BED CAPACITY N/A

TOTAL BUILDING AREA (SQ. FT.) 86,000

TOTAL LAND AREA (ACRES) 0.5

TOTAL COST (EXCLUDING LAND) $25,000,000

Attractive but not ostentatious, and handsome without pretense, this project elevates its surroundings, while working to elevate the individuals it serves


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