Field Collective

Union City senior living campus

PROJECT LOCATION: Union City, California
SIZE: 300 Acres
CIVIL: Sherwood Design Engineers
PROJECT TYPOLOGY: Senior living , campus master planning
ROLE: Project manager and author of the landscape master planning document, project manager and designer for implementation of phases one and two from schematic design through construction administration
STATUS: Under construction
*A Creo Landscape Architecture project

Situated on a hillside, the 300-acre senior living campus is adjacent East Bay Regional Park land, and overlooks Union City and the San Francisco Bay. The campus is home to about 300 senior residents living in independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing facilities. The master planning process involved developing the goals and objectives through communication with the client and other stakeholders. Interviews were conducted with campus staff and others specializing in the unique needs of this population, such as gerontologists, memory care specialists and exercise physiologists. Extensive site analysis involved documentation of existing conditions and observations of how the site was being used by the residents and staff. A focus of the plan was getting residents outside, increasing opportunities to interact with nature, and increasing accessibility and safety across the campus. Creating “barrier-free” circulation across the campus was a particular challenge given the steep topography of the site. The final product was a document summarizing the findings and proposing a number of phased projects to accomplish the client’s goals.

Campus leadership decided to move forward with construction of the first two phases of the landscape master plan immediately, and they are currently under construction.

Phase one:
Phase one included the design of a sidewalk adjacent to the switch-back roadway leading up to the center of campus. The introduction of a sidewalk was crucial to achieving the barrier free goals set forth in the landscape master plan. Rest areas and overlooks also provided destinations to encourage the residents to get outside. The hillside between the switch backing road was stabilized using a combination of native California slope stabilization planting and compost mulch.

Phase two
In Phase two, the previously vehicular route in the center of the campus was closed off to all traffic except for emergency vehicles. Specialty paving was added and areas were re-graded to create accessible routes of travel. Lines of sight between buildings were increased through the introduction of a more formal axis. Patios and plazas were designed to create spaces for gathering and to accommodate events.

Image credit: Kevin Quach

A site analysis diagram highlighting proposed interventions, including pedestrian circulation and destination points.

A portion of the campus as shown in the landscape master plan, highlighting phases 1 and 2.

Sections through the proposed switch back road and proposed sidewalk and timber and lag beam retaining walls for the Phase 1 project

From the construction documentation: the bronze mile markers to be inserted into the new sidewalk as part of Phase 1 were informed by conversations with the campus exercise physiologist