Project category: Remodel/Renovation (completed February 2007)

Chief administrator: Ruth W. Brinkley, President & CEO, (423) 495-8656

Firm: Derthick, Henley & Wilkerson Architects, (423) 266-4816

Design team: William H. Wilkerson, AIA, Principal-in-Charge; Charles e. (Bo) Turner, AIA, Interior Architect; Sandy Hausler, NCIDQ, Interior Designer (Derthick, Henley & Wilkerson Architects); Stanton M. Peters, PE, Electrical Engineer; David L. Mansfield, PE, Mechanical/Plumbing Engineer (MEP Engineers); Robin L. Vasa, Director of Construction (Memorial Health Care System)

Photography: © Stephen Greenfield

Total building area (sq. ft.): 13,475

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $93

Total construction cost (excluding land): $1,250,000

The MaryEllen Locher Breast Center is a state-of-the-art diagnostic, imaging, and therapeutic facility located on the Memorial Hospital campus. The center's suite accommodates patients in varying stages of cancer treatment and has distinctive, separate areas for examination, consultation, and recuperation.

Previously an arthritis medical office, the newly renovated Breast Center is entered through a contemporary reception/waiting area on the first floor. Immediately opposite the reception desk is the Boutique, which allows patients to select cancer-specific accessories.

A long, serpentine central corridor connects the Waiting Room to the Oasis, an environmentally sympathetic space designed for patients and staff. Between the Oasis and the central corridor is a waterwall feature, which directs the sound of flowing water throughout the facility. The Oasis also serves as a contemplative area, containing a stone labyrinth, a matching ceiling drop, and a full-length pastoral wall mural.

Adjacent to the central corridor are patient examination and procedures spaces, with two nurses' stations adjacent to the rooms where imaging procedures occur. Slow, meandering arcs developed in the floor pattern in the patient corridor serving this area continue the theme of a contemporary, hospitality-type atmosphere.

Throughout the MaryEllen Locher Breast Center, a conscious effort has been made to address patients' fear of unknown diagnoses and the associated trepidation about certain procedures. From the total hospitality immersion of soothing music to the sound of a slowly running stream, every effort has been maintained to present a comforting environment.