A walk along the California Seashore - CODAworx

A walk along the California Seashore

Submitted by Gary Drostle

Client: Lucile Packard Children's Hospital

Location: Palo Alto, CA, United States

Completion date: 2017

Artwork budget: $170,000

Project Team


Gary Drostle

Drostle Public Arts Ltd


Robin Guenther

Perkins + Will Architect


Kerry Shanahan

Stanford Children's Health - Lucile Packard Children's Hospital

Industry Resource

DPR Construction

Industry Resource

T B Penick & Sons Inc

Art Consultant

Annette Ridenour

Aesthetics Inc.


'A walk along the California Seashore' – Terrazzo floor design including ten mosaic floor panels and 6 inset bronze Sand Dollar medallions. This project for the main entrance lobby of a new Children's hospital at Stanford integrates a multi colour terrazzo design echoing the shoreline, waves lapping on the beach, through the entire lobby area, with ten inlaid unglazed porcelain mosaic panels featuring tide pools and sea life. The mosaic panels cover approximately 500 square feet.


As a children's hospital the aim of this artwork was to create a welcoming environment featuring humour, interest and discovery. The trompe l'oeil mosaic panels depict local seashore flora and fauna to try and recreate the joy of discovering tide pools on the beach, featuring many identifiable animals and plants. The floor art design for the lobby fits into the overall concept design for the hospital which sees each floor level of the hospital related to the elevation of the local topography and it's associated nature - So that the basement represents the undersea levels, the ground floor the seashore, first floor the Redwood forest and so on up the the mountain tops.


In a process spanning eight years the initial design phase of the project was a collaboration between the artist 'Gary Drostle', the arts agency 'Aesthetics Inc' and architects 'Perkins Will' New York Office. Once the designs were finalised the mosaics were made in the Drostle Pubic Arts Studios in London, this and the phase two project on the first floor lasted two years. Once the mosaics were fabricated a close collaboration between Drostle Public Arts, Aesthetics Inc, T B Penick the Terrazzo specialists, the main contractor DPR Construction and the client Stanford Lucile Packard Children's Hospital ensured the successful installation of the integrated works.

Additional Information

This project was part of a pair of commissions for the hospital from Gary Drostle. Both projects feature mosaic trails set into specially design terrazzo floors. The second project on the first floor is titled 'A trail through the Redwood Forest'.