The new $16 million Cancer Center for South Coast Medical Center (SCMC) is a state-of-the-art facility designed to create a friendly environment for patients and their families.

The design team worked with SCMC and the City of Laguna Beach through a rigorous planning process to build widespread support throughout the community. We needed a design responsive to the civic vision of the resort town and sensitive to the individual homeowners looking down on the new building from adjacent bluffs. The result is a two-story building that has the look and feel of hospitality design more than hospital design. The exterior façades consist of natural stone, glass, metal and stucco below a hipped concrete-tile roof.

We minimized the mass of the structure with large trees and the small-scale articulated wings of the building that flank a recessed, covered entry. We also significantly reduced the perceived volume by recessing three sides of the structure deep into the adjacent hillside. Special engineering design considerations address the storm-water runoff from the hillside directly above and the hefty retaining walls that form the exterior walls around most of the lower level.

We organized the interior to support a “cancer concierge” approach to patient services. The concierge will coordinate each patient's care within the Center and direct patients to related outside services, such as support groups, nutritional counseling and transportation. The Center will provide a comprehensive umbrella of cancer-care services with state-of-the-art technology, including a linear accelerator, computed tomography (CT) simulation, three-dimensional conformal treatments and intensity-modulated radiation therapy.

PROJECT CATEGORY Project in Progress (August 2003)

CHIEF ADMINISTRATOR Chuck Coryell, (949) 499-7229

FIRM Carter & Burgess, Inc., (714) 327-1600

DESIGN TEAM Don W. Caskey, FAIA, Principal; Tim Lally, RA, Project Architect; Saeed Kamkar, Senior Designer; Robert Dittes, Senior Designer; Al Amiri, RA, Project Architect




TOTAL COST $16,000,000