Terraces Los Altos

Phase 3

Terraces Los Altos
Los Altos, California
Client – American Baptist Homes of the West (ABHOW)

The Terraces at Los Altos (formerly known as Pilgrim Haven) was the first community of American Baptist Homes of the West (ABHOW.) Established in a rural area full of orchards in 1949, it was eventually surrounded by single-family home development and an Elementary School. The community was in desperate need of repositioning for the changing needs of the elders of Los Altos. Due to the age of the facilities, most units were extremely small and almost none were ADA accessible. Seismic, life safety, and health codes had changed dramatically over the decades.  Like assembling a ship in a bottle, the project carefully phased the demolition and new construction into three parts on a very tight site that remained open throughout.

PHASE 1 – New Skilled Nursing, Memory Support and Assisted Living Commons.

The resulting 2 story design creates a home-like environment using four small house style neighborhoods. Interior spaces were intentionally kept small and intimate. Each resident now has a private bathroom in their room. Most of the bedrooms also open right into the main common spaces for each household.  Continuous ambulation loops encourage exercise and ensure that there are no dead ends.  The short distances between bedrooms and common areas encourage residents to engage more with the social environment while improve sight lines for the staff.

PHASE 2 – Assisted Living

Assisted Living now has a bungalow feel.  Connected to amenities and food services established strategically ahead of time in Phase 1, the glass enclosed breezeway not only provides connectivity but also a layer of privacy for the AL garden beyond it.  AL apartments are now more spacious and accessible.

PHASE 3 – Independent Living

Due to challenging site constraints IL is built atop a large underground parking garage.  To satisfy neighborhood concerns the buildings were broken down in length and height along the main street frontage.  Two smaller IL buildings, 2 stories each, offer more townhome, or “Garden Apartment” choices for residents.  The main entry building was also scaled down to join the townhomes on the main street.  The larger 3 story apartment building is hidden behind the Garden Apartments.  New courtyards offer distinct themes for variety.

Architect: D2 Architecture
Civil Engineer:  Sandis Engineering
Landscape Architect:  Gates + Associates
Structural Engineer:  Ficcadenti, Waggoner & Castle
Interior Design:  IDA
Food Services Design:  Corsi & Associates
MEP:  Mazzetti + Nash Lipsey Burch
Contractor:  Vance Brown


208,506 sf

81 IL apartments

30 AL apartments

16 Memory Support apartments

30 Skilled Nursing beds


EFA Design Showcase – Honorable Mention

Los Altos Chamber of Commerce – Architectural Design and Enhancement Award

Santa Clara County – Certificate of Commendation

California State Senate & State Assembly – Certificate of Recognition