Sutter Health, Eden Medical Center
Native plants

Campus View from Main Entry By Randy DeValle, Landscape Architect for the new Sutter Medical Center Castro Valley

I guess you could say I am about as home grown a design team member as can be, having lived in Castro Valley since 1959. My family moved here when I just four years old. My mother still lives right up Stanton, just a little past Eden Medical Center. My name is Randy DeValle, and I am the Landscape Architect for the new hospital project.

I remember riding my Sting Ray bicycle, complete with banana seat, past Eden Medical Center every Saturday morning, as my buddies and I would scrounge for pop bottles. We would turn them in for money. Then, off to Foster Freeze for a frosty, and Value World to buy fishing lures.

I attended Stanton Elementary School, A.B. Morris Junior High (yes, I still see Mr. Kerr, our principal, about town) and graduated from Castro Valley High in 1972. I was a proud Spartan, ran for the best coach in Castro Valley High history, Norm Guest, and was a member of the inaugural high school soccer team. I remember Fifi’s Toy Store, Sakamoto Hill, and getting chased off of King’s Hill.

After graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a degree in Landscape Architecture, I spent a few years working in landscape construction. Then in January 1986, I put out my shingle right here in Castro Valley. My wife and I raised our two children in this valley. They too, graduated from CVHS, as Trojans (I’ll never get over that name change, ugh! Hail, Spartans).

Eden Medical Center has been a part of my family’s lives over the years. I have spent countless hours waiting in the emergency room talking to the night guard or watching that tiny TV in the corner. My wife (then girlfriend) introduced her mother to my mother for the first time up on the fourth floor when I was a patient there.

Eden has been present for so many of my years it will be somewhat strange not seeing the ol’ girl up on the hill…but I can say with all conviction, the new hospital is going to be beautiful. Devenney Group, the project architecture firm, has designed a remarkable building.

I am just thrilled to be a member of the design team. As the project landscape architect, it will be my responsibility to work with the project civil engineer and architect. I will be selecting all the plant varieties and designing the unique outdoor spaces.

These spaces will include a garden, with shade trees, servicing the hospital café. But it will be more than an eating area. There will be space to sit, read a book, and carry on a conversation. We are also planning another garden area adjacent to the parking garage and new medical office building, which will serve as a demonstration and contemplation garden.

Besides being a place of respite and serenity, the garden will host myriad plant species for the home gardener. We hope to develop a demonstration garden, emphasizing California natives, where a person can come and view some lovely specimens. The garden will be complete with seating areas, a shade structure and pathways. Also on the menu are roof gardens, water features and plenty of other greenery.

This is a LEED project. I will not reiterate the subtleties of LEED, but in its basic sense, plants must be akin to our climate, we must use water judiciously and wisely, use recycled materials and quite frankly, just use good old fashion horse sense. It is my hope to open portions of the landscape, which traditionally have just been functional. As much as possible, I want the landscape to also be a learning experience.

I truly believe, when the ribbon is cut, we locals will be amazed at the aesthetics, the attention to detail and overall, we’ll marvel at the new Sutter Health hospital up on the hill.

Please let me know if you have any questions about the landscape architecture, and feel free to leave a comment in the comment box. We welcome your input!


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