The existing site for the new El Camino Hospital Behavioral Healthcare Services building had a park-like feel defined by mature trees and elegant landscaping, characterized by a mature tree canopy and understory mix of shrubs and groundcovers. For the redesigned site, BFS retained two heritage oaks to maintain the mature character of the entrance. Four inner courtyards provide opportunities for inpatient and outpatients to be outside in both supervised and unsupervised conditions. Each courtyard is designed to be serene and contemplative, while also maximizing the safety and usable space available. Water and art features add interest and create a calming atmosphere in the spacious gardens.
This focus on the quality of user experience extends throughout the site design. Patient rooms are screened from the entrance drive with a planted berm and Corten steel retaining wall. Pedestrian access is improved using special paving and formal planting near roadways. Low level lighting makes the pedestrian spaces safer and more appealing at night. To reduce landscape water use and mitigate the project impact on the water system, all planting was selected for low water use and drought-tolerance. Stormwater is mitigated onsite as part of an integrated campus-wide stormwater treatment plan.