Mosaics Transform Children’s Hospital

With sustainability at the forefront, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford in Palo Alto, CA, was designed to withstand the test of time, with intricately crafted floor mosaics that depict California’s diverse ecosystem.

After more than one decade in the making, the state-of-the-art Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford in Palo Alto, CA, recently opened. The 521,000-square-foot building was designed to depict California’s diverse ecosystem and natural beauty, with each floor representing a native eco-region. A variety of intricately crafted mosaics, which were installed using products from Laticrete International, Inc. in Bethany, CT, help create an artistic journey through California’s environments in this not-so-ordinary hospital.

International award-winning mosaic artist and installer, Gary Drostle, and his company, Drostle Public Arts in Erith, United Kingdom, were enlisted to bring the mosaics to life. Drostle created and installed 19 hand-cut mosaics representative of California’s seashore and redwood forest. The mosaics were crafted using unglazed porcelain tile from Winckelmans in Lomme, France, a set of bronze medallions and 700 hand-cast glass leaves inset in a specially designed terrazzo floor.

After almost two years of craftsmanship, Drostle’s designs were installed throughout the ground floor’s lobby and first floor’s central corridor using Laticrete’s NXT Level floor underlayment, 254 Platinum thinset mortar, Permacolor Select cement grout and Permacolor Color Kit for use with the grout. “For each portion of our mosaic tile work, there was an appropriate Laticrete product to ensure a lasting installation and bring the ‘wow’ factor with a pop of color in the grout,” Drostle said. “More importantly, each of the products chosen have received multiple certifications and declarations, including Health Product Declarations (HPDs), Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) and UL Greenguard Gold Certifications for low chemical emissions for sustainable living.”

Drostle and his team first applied NXT Level, a cement-based underlayment, to level the interior substrates. The fire- and heat-resistant product was selected to produce a flat, smooth and hard surface for the finished mosaic installation. To adhere the 19 mosaic panels to their respective flooring areas, 254 Platinum was specified, a one-step polymer-modified mortar, which provides superior strength and bond. Afterwards, to grout the panels, Permacolor Select was applied, a high-performance cement grout that offers a dispersible dry pigment solution; to add a pop of color, the installers used the Permacolor Select Color Kit’s glossy “Raven” tint, a deep forest green color.

In 2018, the new main building at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford was awarded LEED Platinum status, the highest designation for sustainability recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council. Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford is one of just five hospitals in the world — and only the second children’s hospital — to achieve LEED Platinum certification. “From planning to execution, the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford was a decade in the making and designed with the intent to become one of the country’s most sustainable children’s hospitals,” said Dale Foster, Laticrete contractor sales representative. “We took great responsibility in making sure all products used onsite would contribute to the LEED points necessary to make this dream a reality.”

The project was also awarded a special recognition in the “Institutional” category at the 2019 Coverings & Installation Design (CID) Awards. “Sustainable building is the way of the future and an initiative we heavily support with the products produced at Laticrete,” Foster said. “Our research and development team work hard daily to ensure we are on the top of our game when it comes to supplying green building materials that are safe for our customers and installers, and will be long-lasting on the jobsite. Winning the CID Award and being recognized as a supplier of outstanding installation achievements is a culmination of our efforts.”