Painted Turtle Camp
The Painted Turtle
Lake Hughes, California

The Painted Turtle, north of Los Angeles, is a camp for children with serious illnesses.

"The Master Plan The Painted Turtle is one of the most uplifting and rewarding projects that I have had the privilege of overseeing since joining Richard Meier & Partners. I want to give you a vision of what we hope each child and family will experience when they visit the camp for the first time. The land for the camp is an exquisite 173 acres nestled up against rolling foothills on a 25-acre lake. Each guest will be greeted by a simple welcome archway through which they will enjoy a framed view of the camp. Lovely terraced landscaping and grading will create a clear central camp activity area. Ultimately, the experience will be of an "oasis" which holds, not only the camp buildings, but also wildflower meadows, organic fruit orchards and secret gardens. A wide natural pathway (wide enough to accommodate at least 2 wheelchairs) will lead each guest through the camp with views unfolding gradually of the boathouse, medical building, dining hall, arts and crafts, the theater, the cabins and beyond.
Each building has its own character elements.
The medical building is a set in nature with lots of windows and skylights to veer attention away from treatment areas.
The dining hall has indoor and outdoor seating with a large porch overlooking the lake.
The arts and crafts has indoor and outdoor work spaces.
The gym and pool share a common area for indoor games and locker rooms.
The canvas sided boathouse holds canoes and rowboats and fishing gear.
The Performing Arts building has a music studio, dance studio, indoor theater and outdoor amphitheater.
Camper cabins hug the topography of the hillside with a common area in each cabin for games and art projects.
Our goal is to build the camp with sustainable architecture and environmentally sound methods. We are incorporating natural ventilation, wind and solar power, evaporative coolers, cantilevered roofs and recycled building materials to insure the camp's longevity and cost efficiency in building and annual operations." - Michael Palladino

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