Children's therapeutic garden design : Riley Children's Hospital

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Sedory, Danielle A.
Hoover, Anne S.
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Thesis (B.L.A.)
College of Architecture and Planning
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As the previous research suggests, the need for therapy gardens in hospital settings is validated and extremely important. The thesis statement below describes some of the preliminary goals that I plan on achieving throughout the design process.Therapeutic environments have been something of interest for quite some time, especially to healthcare and medical facilities since their main objective is to heal or provide therapy. “Local healing places were nearly always found in nature-a healing spring, a sacred grove, a sacred rock or cave. The earliest hospitals in the western world were infirmaries in monastic communities where herbs and prayer were the focus of healing and a cloistered garden was an essential part of the environment.” (Cooper Marcus) According to Clare Cooper Marcus’s book, Healing Gardens, “The organization that accredits 85 percent of U.S. acute-care hospitals now requires that for certain patient groups (pediatrics, long-term care) and those experiencing long stays, the hospital provide “access to the outdoors through appropriate use of hospital grounds, nearby parks and playgrounds, and adjacent countryside” (The Center of Health Design, 1998).” The main aspects of outdoor environments, such as greenery, can also be introduced to the interior environment which is a component of this project. The book, Designing the Interior Environment by Richard Austin, states, “The design of the interior landscape combines the issues of horticulture and the design applications of both landscape architecture and interior design.” (Pg.x)There are three major forms of healing that this project wishes to address. These three aspects of the healing process are relief from physical symptoms, stress reduction, and an improvement in the overall sense of well-being and hopefulness. “For those who are recovering, hopefulness has been proven to be a significant factor in the rate of improvement; to facilitate hope is to enhance health.” (Cooper Marcus) This study proposes to address these issues and create a therapeutic interior environment at a children’s hospital that will combine the issues of therapy, accessibility, and interior landscape architecture to create an environment that can be enjoyed year-round.