Designs

Designed for Healing - The Gardens of the Lady Cilento Children's Hosptial

By Conrad Gargett

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  • Designed for Healing - The Gardens of the Lady Cilento Children's Hosptial

    Designed for Healing - The Gardens of the Lady Cilento ...

  • Designed for Healing - The Gardens of the Lady Cilento Children's Hosptial

    Designed for Healing - The Gardens of the Lady Cilento ...

  • Designed for Healing - The Gardens of the Lady Cilento Children's Hosptial

    Designed for Healing - The Gardens of the Lady Cilento ...

  • Designed for Healing - The Gardens of the Lady Cilento Children's Hosptial

    Designed for Healing - The Gardens of the Lady Cilento ...

  • Designed for Healing - The Gardens of the Lady Cilento Children's Hosptial

    Designed for Healing - The Gardens of the Lady Cilento ...

  • Designed for Healing - The Gardens of the Lady Cilento Children's Hosptial

    Designed for Healing - The Gardens of the Lady Cilento ...

  • Designed for Healing - The Gardens of the Lady Cilento Children's Hosptial

    Designed for Healing - The Gardens of the Lady Cilento ...

  • Designed for Healing - The Gardens of the Lady Cilento Children's Hosptial

    Designed for Healing - The Gardens of the Lady Cilento ...

  • Designed for Healing - The Gardens of the Lady Cilento Children's Hosptial

    Designed for Healing - The Gardens of the Lady Cilento ...

About the project

The design of the newly completed $ 1.5 billion Lady Cilento Children’s hospital in Brisbane has been informed by research showing the benefits of nature and the built environment on health and wellbeing. The innovative building design goes hand in glove with the fully integrated healing gardens and community spaces. In an urban location it features 11 roof top gardens and a community plaza designed for recreation, rehabilitation and therapy.
The Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital is Australia’s largest and most advanced children’s hospital. The innovative building design goes hand in glove with the fully integrated healing gardens and community spaces. It features 11 roof top gardens for recreation, rehabilitation and therapy. Combining these 11 roof gardens with a community plaza is arguably setting a new benchmark for future hospitals in Australia. It has always been intended that the ’green’ design would help reduce stress levels for patients, staff and families and assist in making the visitor experience more comfortable . The green outdoor spaces aim to aid patient recovery and help restore energy and faith in difficult times.

Healing gardens and community spaces were designed to maximise the health and environmental benefits of nature and demonstrate the value of contextual design. The success of the project in realising the extensive green spaces throughout the design and implementation process can be credited to the determination of the project team to follow through on the vision and the evidence based design approach for the hospital. Similar to many other projects, the scale, complexity and budget consideration were at times challenging and the team worked hard to fight for the important outcomes over the seven years.

A substantial body of research and theory developed over recent decades has shown that reduced stress and anxiety in a hospital environment can progress a patient’s recovery; and similarly that access to nature can play a role with regard to reducing stress and anxiety. The Lady Cilento Children’s hospital has been designed with this outcome in mind and is an ideal case study for future research on this topic. Quantifiable research is needed in the near future focussing on health and the benefits achieved by providing access to natural environments including the potentially positive impact on health expenditure. We should not forget however, the qualitative contribution and delight that access to nature can bring to vulnerably ill patients and their families.

The Lady Cilento project demonstrates how health and environmental benefits can be achieved through contemporary evidence-based green design. Measuring and evaluating the resulting level of success of the Lady Cilento gardens as healing gardens should be the focus of research in the near future. Such research has the potential to influence the way health facilities are designed and the general approach to health care delivery in Australia and overseas.

We hope that the amazing story of the Lady Cilento Hospital will continue well into the future.