Spiritual gardens in a healthcare setting
Healthcare facility designers are acknowledging the connection between environment and well-being. They, along with environmental psychologists and landscape architects, are trying to define how environment can influence health status. Research on therapeutic outcomes has helped define specific design guidelines for a garden intended to help hospital patients and staff. One aspect that has not been fully investigated, however, is the spirituality of these spaces. Often in hospital settings prayer goes hand in hand with medicine, especially in faith-based health ministries like St. Vincent Randolph Hospital (SVR). To overlook the importance and value of the spiritual aspect in a healthcare setting would be to miss the core of what SVR stands for. The purpose of this project is to identify guidelines for therapeutic gardens that support the physical, spiritual and mental health and well being of patients at St. Vincent Randolph Hospital and to apply these guidelines to the design of a garden for the patients, families, associates, visitors and the surrounding community.