The landscape design for the VA Palo Alto Phase campus provides both a restorative and recreational environment for patients and staff. The Phase II projects encompass several individual upgrades and new buildings including a realignment of the outer Loop Road, as well as construction of a new ambulatory care center, research facility, parking structure, recreation center, and radiology building. These new structures are centered around a campus-like quad, one of three parks that will be part of the Phase II projects.
The project includes wellness gardens, courtyards, plazas, roof gardens, and three parks that will be constructed in phases over six years. The open spaces provide an immediate sense of identity and character on the campus. These spaces encourage not only healing, but also recreation for VA staff and visitors. In addition, opportunities for interaction between researchers increase collaboration and encourage a sense of community.
The design improves circulation throughout the campus by improving wayfinding and orientation. The overall circulation plan is based on tree-lined “spines” which are the main pathways. Additional bands of paths and planting provide an overall design continuity on the campus.
The design of the open spaces is an opportunity to model sustainable practices. The planting design uses mainly native, low water use planting. Numerous bioswales and bioretention basins treat stormwater on site and minimize run-off. In addition, light colored paving decreases heat island effect in the campus’s hot microclimate.
Phase II includes the following projects: