Mt. Zion Comprehensive Cancer Center – Quiet Room - CODAworx

Mt. Zion Comprehensive Cancer Center – Quiet Room

Client: University of California San Francisco

Location: San Francisco, CA, United States

Completion date: 2001

Artwork budget: $65,000

Project Team


Gordon Huether

Gordon Huether Studio


SmithGroup JJR

SmithGroup JJR


With its memorable entrance and efficient, technically rigorous facilities for medical needs, this award-winning cancer building befits its status as one of only 61 National Cancer Institute-designated treatment centers in the U.S. Gordon Huether was commissioned to create integrated artwork for their quiet room. The designs reflects the center’s progressive nature and Nobel Prize winning research.


Design choices reflect the center's image of permanence, warmth and well-being. Radiation oncology, mammography and other clinics are accessible through a consolidated entrance with an inviting, cherry-trimmed reception area and meditation room.


Rather than focusing on a single element, Huether became involved in a collaborative effort to integrate his nature-inspired work into the entire meditation room. Upon entering the room, you are first faced with a delicately etched, water inspired glass wall and a patinated metal element designed to hold a small book in which to share your thoughts. On the right-hand side, a photo transfer triptych over dichroic glass shifts from blue to gold, depending on the angle of viewing. Past the glass screen, your eyes follow a river of rock leading to the focal point of the room, a floating, back-lit medallion. The landscape-inspired medallion uses soothing blue glass to imply falling water and a beautiful mouth-blown white glass to represent the horizon. A lacy, water-jet-cut overlay of steel is laminated over the painted, etched and fused glass.