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/ County of Alameda Highland Hospital Tower Renovation

Inspired by both the historical significance of its campus and the sustainability goals for Alameda County, Ratcliff teamed with Clark Design/Build of California, Smith Group and Shah Kawasaki to redevelop Highland Hospital to better serve the community far into the future.

The 315,000 s.f Acute Care Replacement Tower for the Alameda County Highland Hospital is a nine-story, 160-bed facility designed to meet current seismic standards of SB 1953 and SB 306. The design re-establishes the central quadrangle green space from the historic Highland Hospital Campus and maximizes the original historic plan in a contemporary way by incorporating salvaged historical terracotta building elements reconstructed in the landscape. New public spaces incorporate artifacts, drawings and historic documents. Sustainability (LEED® Gold) was a major requirement and the teams incorporation of sustainable features is evident and celebrated in important architectural elements.

As the county’s main trauma center, the campus required a major reworking. The plan calls for demolishing six buildings and constructing two large replacements: a new, 315,000-square-foot inpatient tower and an 80,000-square-foot medical office building. A new and inviting front entrance adds unmistakable identity, while an interior courtyard infuses the interiors with light and air.

The central courtyard and the minimal building facades that reflect the scale and rhythm of existing historic buildings restores the master plan vision developed in the 1920s. The interior design, on the other hand, takes inspiration from the contemporary diversity and cultural richness of Alameda County and the tranquility of the East Bay area’s natural landscape to enhance the overall patient experience. Sustainable and of its place, Highland Hospital is a new landmark in the foothills of Oakland.


Oakland, CA


312,000 SF


  • Design Build


  • Architecture
  • Planning
  • Programming
  • Renovation