Under-served and overwhelmed, patients turn to the Avon Comprehensive Breast Center at San Francisco General Hospital for quality healthcare driven by a person’s total health and collective wellbeing. The result of an elegant solution to a major problem of health access to this Bay Area population, the Avon Comprehensive Breast Center is a transformative resource.

San Francisco General Hospital could not adequately accommodate the need for mammograms and ultrasounds, and sought a new facility on a limited timeline, budget, and space. In order to not compromise requirements or have to replace the new Center, Tsang Architecture decided to build the new Center out of modular buildings to place the Center at the appropriate location and be able to relocate it as necessary. The strategic location of the Center also eliminated a possible lengthy OSHPD review and permit process, while the use of modular buildings eliminated a need for the City’s review, permit, and inspection process, and the modular building technology improves the quality of the product through factory assemblies and the reduction of cost due to a different pay scale. 

Utilizing a unique application of the modular buildings (unusual layouts, configurations, stacking custom triangular modules onto standard modules) Tsang Architecture and consultants created a Center completely different than its previous structure. Architects, clinicians, and contractors collaborated on the design: prefabricated modular units of diagnosis and consultation rooms interlocked around a healing garden. Using nature and its elements, the Healing Garden serves as the heart of the Center, serving holistic healing remedies. The design evokes nature as well: natural lighting guides the exterior and hallways, which are glazed with fixed and operable windows to reduce heating and ventilation. The gowned waiting room is south facing, exposing sunlight to provide warmth to patients in a lack of clothing. 

After the construction, the Avon Comprehensive Breast Center feels safe and caring. It is bright and filled with natural daylight. A water feature and thoughtful landscaping in the garden calms visitors. The grounds are easy to navigate, as everything is located around the garden.  


“The Center is an inviting facility where women can feel comfortable and supported. It’s private. It’s centralized. It’s efficient and effective.”
-Dr. Lori Strachowski, Medical Director for the Avon Center




This project was completed by Ignatius Tsang while Principal In Charge at Tsang Architecture.