Inspired Design of the New Eden Medical Center
Posted on Nov 19, 2012
By Andrew Flanigan, Devenney Group senior planner/designer
Nestled in the hills of Castro Valley, the new Eden Medical Center was designed to reflect the natural beauty of the rolling hills as well as to serve as an icon of the community.
One of the main concepts of the design was to integrate the exterior of the building with the surrounding community. We have reduced the scale of our seven-story hospital bed tower by using design patterns and textures that emphasize horizontal, rather than vertical lines.
Windows to the sky: patient rooms
Using glass, we were inspired to create a façade that would allow everyone at our medical center to feel part of—rather than separate from—nature and the surrounding community.
To reflect the blueness of the open sky, we used five different colors of blue glass in the patient care waiting areas and patient rooms.
The blue glass, along with natural, long-lasting earth toned materials, gives a light and airy feel to the exterior of our building.
While fritted glass makes the exterior side of patient room windows appear opaque or milky in color, the internal side of these windows helps control how much sunlight enters a patient’s room. The high-efficiency tinted glazing enables us to maximize windows in all patient rooms to enhance the healing environment.
Patient care waiting areas
Patient waiting areas and public areas utilize curtain-wall glazing with a graduated fritted pattern and face the front entry—maximizing views to the surrounding hills as well as our community and the natural landscape while giving the public and patients a sense of where they are in the building.
In the evening, this area is enhanced with colored-lighting effects at each level, creating a focus on the main entry of the medical center.
This colored glow contrasts well with the “heavier” aesthetic we’ve created by designing the base of the building using natural and heavy looking materials to help anchor the seven-story hospital tower element.
The lower levels of the building utilize a GFRC material (gypsum fiber reinforced concrete), designed with a raised horizontal pattern. The intent for this material is to anchor the glass tower elements of the building and reduce the visual scale of the building. In addition to GFRC, the base also utilizes metal panels, which slope in different directions to mimic the surrounding hills.
Highlighting the connection between the natural beauty of the surrounding landscape and our medical center, we’ve created a two-toned ribbon design element that runs throughout the floors of our medical center—connecting the hospital to the new medical office building. The ribbon continues outside, running throughout the gardens. It serves as a “way finding” element: Follow the ribbon to be led to the closest exit.
When the old hospital is taken down after Dec. 1, we will build a fountain in the front entry of the new Eden Medical Center.
When visitors drive up to the front entry in the roundabout area, they will be greeted with the sound of overflowing, splashing water, instead of horns and cars. The water will flow over a stone façade made of flagstone with a horizontal pattern that matches the flagstone in the front entry.
Creating a calming effect as it flows in a pyramidal shape over the stones and the stainless steel letters, “Eden Medical Center,” the waterfall will empty into a flat pool formed by large, black cobblestones at eye-level with the landscaping.
Designed to be a focal point, the fountain will be visible from the patient care waiting area on each floor, so visitors will have a reference point to help find their way through the hospital.
The new four-story Castro Valley Medical Office Building complements our new hospital in form and function. Read more by accessing “Castro Valley Medical Office Building Designed for Clinical Excellence.”
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