Ratcliff was initially contracted by the Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide various alteration/addition options in a study beginning in 1986. Soon after, the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake required the VA to commission Ratcliff to provide them with four modular buildings as an immediate solution to the impact of the disaster. The firm was simultaneously contracted to provide the design of a four-story bed tower, clinical addition, and administration building replacing the hospital that was damaged. Understanding the urgency of timely completion, the architects worked with the VA to develop a fast-track approach to the project.
The new design incorporated stringent VA seismic criteria while improving the existing campus fabric and enhancing external and internal circulation, departmental relations, and the patient/staff environment. The hospital, affiliated with the Stanford University School of Medicine, provides 228 beds and 40 departments including ambulatory care, laboratory, radiology, and surgical services. The design concept unbundles the facility into three separate buildings (the Diagnostic Radiology Center, a four-story Clinical/ Bed Tower, and an Administration Building) utilizing different construction types in order to reduce overall cost. The Clinical Bed/Tower is designed around a central courtyard which provides daylight and access to all departments. A connecting bridge on all four levels adjoins the hospital with the adjacent administration building.