El Camino Health (ECH; Mountain View, Calif.) wanted to provide a safe and comfortable healing environment where patients are treated for mental health conditions with respect and compassion. The solution is the 55,000-square-foot Behavioral Health Services Taube Pavilion, located ECH’s Mountain View campus, which opened in November 2019. Accommodating inpatient and outpatient programs, the building is designed as two separate facilities that are co-located so patients can easily transition between them.

The inpatient facility provides a wide range of services in an intimate small-group settings. The  linear layout of 36 private inpatient rooms is organized into care suites of 5-14 people. Each suite—including patient rooms, shared courtyard, dining room, nursing station and  treatment rooms—provides specialized services to a distinct sub-population. Staff can flex between suites as necessary. Located on the second floor, the outpatient facility has an independent entrance and includes group therapy rooms and in-home skills suites.

The building’s face to the community is designed to be welcoming and noninstitutional, while the design team worked closely with ECH staff to establish an understanding of best practices in mental health design for the interiors. For example, to help stabilize moods and sleep patterns, the project team included the specification of light fixtures and timed controls that permit color temperature to subtly change over the course a 24-hour period.

The safety and security of patients and staff was a primary concern for ECH, as well. The building limits blind corners and any fixtures or elements that could be used for self-harm or the harm of others. Patient rooms are designed with custom doors that can be removed quickly if patients are in danger inside. Windows are made of polycarbonate or laminated safety glazing to prevent shattering, and all screws and fasteners are tamper-proof.

Additionally, sustainable design features leverage campus-wide investments in energy efficiency and water conservation. For example, excess energy generated from large photovoltaics on one of the campus’s parking structures feed into the energy system and can be utilized at periods of high demand. Water management systems are complimented with pervious pavers and bioretention swales that connect to a series of courtyards. Additionally, the courtyards offer patients access to daylight and views of nature to enhance restorative processes and to further integrate wellness and sustainability into the campus fabric.


Project details:

Facility name: El Camino Health Behavioral Health Center Taube Pavilion

Location: Mountain View, Calif.

Completion date: November 2019

Owner: El Camino Health

Total building area: 55,000 sq. ft.

Total construction cost: Confidential

Cost/sq. ft.: Confidential

Architecture firm: WRNS Studio

Interior design: WRNS Studio

General Contractor: XL Construction

Engineering: Interface Engineering (MEP), Thornton Tomasetti (structural), Sandis (civil)

Builder: XL Construction