Eisenhower Medical Center is committed to providing the highest-quality care center to the people of Coachella Valley. In California, cancer is the second most prevalent cause of death—two out of every five people will develop cancer at some time in their lives. In the surrounding communities of Coachella Valley, cancer accounts for 24% of all deaths.

The Lucy Curci Cancer Center is housed on the Eisenhower Medical Center campus at a recently purchased facility, formerly The Heart Institute of the Desert. This facility remodel/expansion and 5,500-square-foot parking structure will house medical oncologists and combine all comprehensive outpatient cancer services in one convenient, fully integrated, state-of-the-art location. The completed Lucy Curci Cancer Center will have a wide range of cancer treatment options available, such as radiation therapy, sterotactic radiotherapy to the brain, high-dose-rate radiation therapy, 3-D conformal radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, gene therapy, autologous bone marrow transplantation, antiangiogenesis drugs, and monoclonal antibodies, and will offer genetic testing and participation in more than 70 clinical trials.

The Lucy Curci Cancer Center is designed to enhance the patient’s well-being, improve treatment outcomes, shorten lengths of stay, and hasten overall recovery. Unlike the sterile, uninviting, and cold clinical facilities of the past, the Lucy Curci Cancer Center promotes health and well-being through a fusion of positive lighting, ventilation, acoustics, natural textiles and fabrics, beautiful waterfalls, fountains and gardens, soothing color palettes, and rich textures, finishes, and appointments. The Cancer Center is also aesthetically pleasing through the use of design features, offering stress-reducing landscapes; natural and indirect light; soft desert color schemes; lush plants; comfortable, ergonomically designed furnishings; soothing waiting room atmospheres; and a magnificent healing garden.

To provide continuous treatment to patients, the Lucy Curci Cancer Center will be completed in seven phases, eventually moving all outpatient cancer services from the main Eisenhower Medical Center facility to the newly renovated Cancer Center. Completion of Phases 1 and 2—the Oncology Center and Parking Structure, respectively—has already brought numerous rave reviews from patients, visitors, and staff.

One particular feature of the Oncology Center, the Water Wall, focuses on the overall theme of the center: creating a therapeutic and healing environment through the extensive use of nature. The Water Wall (74′ 10″ wide × 6′ tall) acts as a transitional element and provides a soothing background sound, affording a sense of relaxation. Water flows directly from the outside of the building through the exterior wall and continues to the interior, literally “bringing the outside in.” Additionally, the Oncology Center provides state-of-the-art radiation treatment, with a capacity for three linear accelerators.

Project category: Project in progress/Unbuilt (October 2003)

Chief administrator: G. Aubrey Serfling, President, (760) 773-1273

Firm: Moon Mayoras Architects, Inc., (619) 235-9780

Design team: David N. Moon, AIA, FACHA, Principal-in-Charge; Douglas A. Mayoras, AIA, ACHA, Design Principal; Victor S. Hernandez, Project Manager; Laura Baldrati, AIA, Project Architect (Moon Mayoras Architects, Inc.); Linda Mitchell, CID, Project Manager (Jain Malkin, Inc.)

Photography: Steve McClelland, McClelland Photography

Illustration: David N. Moon

Total building area (GSF): 70,360

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $245

Total cost (excluding land): $20,000,000 (construction), $45,000,000 (project)