Carrie Tingley Children's Hospital Interior Coutyard

Location: Albuquerque, NM

Completed: 2004

This project transformed a derelict courtyard into a combination physical therapy center and passive garden.  The main function of the site is to provide a series of ordinary site features that children encounter on a daily basis.  The garden provides them a safe environment to develop the strength and skills require to negotiate these obstacles.  They learn to go up stairs, down ramps, over various paving textures, across turf, even a series of balance beams. This goal is met in a way that isn’t clinical.  These features all blend naturally into the garden setting.  This main goal is balanced with  a secondary goal of providing passive space for children and their parents to enjoy the outdoors, to get away from the sterile hospital environment. A semi-private plaza provides a sense of seclusion, while remaining part of the overall garden context.  A central fountain bubbles out of a large boulder, raised so that children can touch water without bending over.  An integral garden plot allows children and staff to experience the joy of planting, cultivating, and harvesting vegetables and flowers. This garden has become a desirable destination for staff and patients and fosters a sense of connection with the natural world outside of the clinical hospital environment.