The benefactor, Mrs. JoAnn Jones, stated the project's goal: “To create a sensitive environment so that when women visited for the first time, they would step inside and know immediately they were in the right place and would be taken care of.”

The benefactor, Tri-City Foundation, TCMC Facility Design & Construction and the design team worked closely as partners, placing a high value on design. This facility promotes the notion that early diagnostic testing should be sought and not avoided. A clear edict of patient-focused care was established.

The new space for the center was an unused shell area and entry/lobby for the second-floor women's center. The design required diligence with the California Department of Health and Human Services Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, to confirm rerouting a primary exit corridor through an exterior court space and reducing toilet facilities. The change created a contiguous space that allows flow through the unit, providing for patient privacy, education and a feeling of progression.

The architecture responds to the staff's and user's needs for comfort, efficiency, storing of personal items, visual access to nature and an environment that makes work enjoyable. Children and families are welcome, and areas for children, monitored by nurses, are provided.

Elements were borrowed from nature to develop aesthetics through subtle features and color. The plan is curvilinear, providing wayfinding and a sense of control. The reception counter mimics the relaxing qualities of a still pool/waterfall. Art glass containing rice paper softens the glazed elements, providing privacy and a sense of respite. As women move from reception to the mammography rooms, they experience art, subtle detail and form change, evoking a feeling that they are part of something special. The design eliminates environmental stressors and reduces the patients' trepidation as they approach the diagnostic procedure


PROJECT CATEGORY Remodel/Renovation (completed May 2001)

CHIEF ADMINISTRATOR Barbara Smith, Director of Imaging Services, (760) 940-5573 (Site Coordinator)

FIRM HMC Architects, (858) 794-5577

DESIGN TEAM Joseph G. Johnston, Jr., AIA; Axel Probst (HMC Architects); Jean Young, ASID, Interior Design (Young+Company); Don Orie, Vice-President of Structural Engineering (Simon Wong Structural Engineers); Tim Cannon, General Contractor (Cannon Building Services, Inc.)

PHOTOGRAPHY Benjamin Douglas




TOTAL COST $670,387

The mammography rooms reduce the technical impact of the machine by providing a private dressing area and a washbasin with a mirror. This was accomplished without losing the sense of high technology needed for accurate diagnosis