Alta Bates Campus, Berkeley
The Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) on the third floor of Alta Bates Hospital can be a stressful environment for parents and staff. An adjoining roof terrace presented the opportunity for a therapeutic outdoor garden to provide relief in a healing environment.
The design provided an economical and weight-saving approach to meet the rooftop constraints. Perpendicular steel planters filled with bamboo overlap the existing raised bed, defining two distinct areas. The first area is more contained, with a custom planter occupying the square space. The second, larger room features a sweeping platform bench crafted from a wind-felled old growth redwood. The size of the sculptural piece allows for its use as a table and bench while the shape provides seating for separate groups. The water feature provides soothing sound to complement the quiet mood of the terrace.
The medical center also wanted to make their entrance more inviting after adding a ramp for universal access. Thuilot Associates used plants and biophilic patterns as much as space would allow to bring nature to a place of healing. Climbing vines were used at the building columns to make the overall structure more welcoming while planters soften the entry at a more intimate scale. Laser cut panels with organic patterns screen the ramp where space is too limited for planting. The overall affect is to make the entry align with the purpose of the campus.