Healing Through Beauty
Patients who spend time in nature and soothing settings have better healing times and reduced stress. AHBE | MIG designed a series of four distinct gardens for patients, visitors and staff at Cedars-Sinai. Because the main plaza is on top of a parking structure, no drilling was allowed onsite. To maintain the structural integrity, minimize disruption of hospital operations and the impacts of noise and dust, the team customized a pre-fabrication process that allowed half of the construction to be completed off-site and then be installed in place.
The gardens provide individual spaces for patient respite, meeting spots for lunch and flexible outdoor areas for staff and public events. Each is themed with elements of playfulness, calm and serenity to help lift, heal and enlighten the spirit. They feature meandering wooden paths that traverse a varied landscape of drought-tolerant plants, water features, shaded seating and a steel-tube sculptural trellis. The trellis’s organic form is spectacular when viewed from both the inside and from patient rooms above. The dry-landscape plantings and an innovative groundwater system are part of a campus-wide water-conservation effort.
The gardens are equally welcoming at night, with footlights that emphasize the curving design of the paths, and spotlights that focus on the dramatic plant shapes.
A vegetated green roof system provides a cohesive base that preserved existing drainage and minimized the need for structural upgrades. Together, the gardens and green roof wrap around the Center’s towers like protective layers of skin, our body’s first line of defense against disease. By allowing people to engage with nature in varied settings, the gardens provide restorative places for people to experience the healing effects of natural beauty.