Scott & White Healing Garden
Sensory Stimulation Helps Patients Heal
With the growing body of research confirming the positive health benefits of spending time outdoors in nature, hospitals and clinics nationwide are now acknowledging the therapeutic value of well-designed outdoor spaces. Healing gardens provide patients and their families, as well as hospital staff, with a setting for fresh air, contemplation, sensory stimulation, interaction with others, and transition from the medical environment. Recognizing the need for such an outdoor space at their University Medical Clinic, Scott & White commissioned RVi to design their first healing garden at the Round Rock campus.
Situated at the main entry to the campus, the garden is a visual extension of the campus’ contemporary architectural aesthetic and incorporates its material palette and design vocabulary. The concept for the garden focuses on the need for a safe enclosed outdoor space that provides a variety of physical, sensory, and emotional experiences at a very personal scale. To achieve this, the garden provides public and contemplative “outdoor rooms,” water features to introduce calming sounds, a wide variety of plant materials for scent, texture, and seasonal change, interesting paved surfaces, and comfortable shaded seating areas. Since the project is funded entirely through donations, the garden design also provides for its components to be purchased and installed individually as funds become available.