Silicon Valley Business Journal: State-of-the art technology shines in hospital’s addition

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The Santa Clara Valley Health and Hospital System has brought in a new addition to its central campus: the Sobrato Pavilion. The facility houses the rehabilitation center to help county residents recover from injuries, with a center that focuses on spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries.

The medical center serves one in four of Santa Clara County residents, and the Sobrato Pavilion is home to treatment of some of the most-devasting injuries. The facility, mostly paid for by a 2008 bond passed by Santa Clara County voters, features new technology and world-class amenities for adult intensive and acute care inpatient units. The center is the Bay Area’s only federally designated spinal cord injury center.

The fully integrated care for rehabilitation patients will include a sun-drenched aquatic therapy facility and a gym with cutting-edge machines to help patients relearn to walk at their own pace and comfort level.

Community Impact

Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Sobrato Pavilion

751 S. Bascom Ave., San Jose 

Size: 370,000 square feet; 6 stories

Cost: $466 million

Status: Started July 2007; completed December 2017

Background: A state law strengthened in 1994 requires hospitals to significantly upgrade their older facilities to seismic standards or shut down completely. Inaction would have resulted in the loss of the community’s only public hospital. Santa Clara County held a vote for its residents to take on an additional tax burden to support the construction of the new facility and the voters approved the bond.

Tidbit: Patient rooms and rehab common areas were designed for abundant daylight with little to no glare. Windows in the pool area were designed so the sun would never hit the water surface during pool operating hours to avoid disturbing patients receiving therapy.

Amenities: The Sobrato Pavilion holds 168 private patient rooms across six floors. The building has full inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation therapy, with 64 private rehabilitation rooms for patients suffering from brain injuries, strokes and spinal cord injuries.

Unique features: The rehabilitation gym features a zero-gravity machine for patients to relearn how to walk, one of four machines like it in the Bay Area. The machine reduces the patient’s weight at the beginning and increases the weight incrementally. Patients can also use wearable exoskeletons and underwater treadmills with camera systems that allow clinicians to evaluate their movements. Garden space around the facility also includes a terrain park for patients.

Key players

  • Owner/developer: Santa Clara Valley Medical Center
  • General contractor: Turner
  • Architect: Stantec Architecture Inc.
  • Landscape architect: Royston Hanamoto Alley & Abey
  • Structural engineer: Patrick Ryan (now with RJSD), Rutherford + Chekene


  • Mechanical engineer: ARUP
  • Electrical engineer: ARUP
  • Civil engineer: SANDIS
  • Telecommunications consultant: TEECOM
  • Lighting consultants: Candela; Stantec
  • Signage consultant: Kate Keating Associates
  • Pool consultant: Aqua Design Group 

Editor's note: This is one of the 26 Silicon Valley Structures winners, which will be profiled in print on Friday, Sept. 21.

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