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LAC+USC Medical Center
Los Angeles, CA


Mark Rios
Tony Paradowski
Samantha Harris
Mike Cheng
Carolyn Sumida
Mark Tessier


From furnishing the medicinal herbs that treat diseases and ailments to providing tranquil spaces for patients to recuperate, gardens have always played a vital role in the healing process. The 10-acre landscape we designed for LAC+USC Medical Center is no exception. It places patient health at the center of the garden’s role, and connects this urban environment with its surrounding natural landscape.

The design concept takes its cues from large, bold patterns based on geological features of Los Angeles, from the mountains to the valleys to the sea. At the lowest elevation, we used abstract wave-like patterns to animate the concrete paving surfaces and benches. At the
site's apogee, 100 feet higher in elevation, we installed columnar Canary Island pine trees to evoke images of L.A.’s mountain environments.

The landscape is divided into three distinct gardens. The Outpatient Garden serves as an outdoor lobby for new patients seeking same-day medical attention. The Inpatient Plaza features a grand entry garden to brighten the spirits of longer-term patients. Doctors, nurses, patients, and visitors alike mingle in the Courtyard Garden, a terraced landscape that connects the site’s new and old campuses. We also designed a line of concrete-and-metal site furnishings for the gardens. They consist of a system of repetitive parts and echo the project’s overriding design concept.