Project category: Remodel/Renovation (completed September 2003)

Chief administrator: Scott Batulis, Chief Executive Officer, (651) 232-3611

Firm: HGA, (612) 758-4337

Design team: Dennis Vonasek, Architect; Christine Vickery, Senior Interior Designer; Kelli Miller, Interior Architect; Dan Rectenwald, Principal

Photography: George Heinrich Photography

Total building area (sq. ft.): 7,800

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $116

Total construction cost (excluding land): $908,000

CyberKnife Center, located in Saint Joseph's Hospital in Saint Paul, Minnesota, dramatically changes the approach to traditional Stereotactic Radiosurgery procedures by using x-ray image cameras and computer technology to locate tumors and deliver concentrated beams of radiation to the target area.

The HealthEast Radiosurgery Center is located in the lower level of Saint Joseph's Hospital. The existing 7,255-square-foot space had been left untouched since the early 1970s. The architect was challenged to create a calming spa-like environment for patients in the treatment spaces and support areas for family members. The architectural team conducted research to fully understand the needs of patients and families. Results of this research revealed that cancer patients coming in for repeated visits were asking for “reminders of life,” “variety,” and “hospitals that don't look like hospitals.” With this in mind, the design team developed a kaleidoscope concept on the ceiling of the CyberKnife. This concept was executed by projecting nature images on the ceiling. The images, designed to change on a 7- to 10-minute rotation, include distant views of nature and close-up shots of flowers and architectural images to give a feeling of people and place.

Tailored details, dramatic lighting, rich textures, and warm colors were used to create this lower-level oasis. Family support spaces consisting of small private waiting areas and an educational library give families a comfortable, welcoming place to wait.