Carrie Tingley Children's Hospital Interior Coutyard

Location: Albuquerque, NM

Completed: 2004

This project transformed a derelict courtyard at a children's hospital into a combination of physical therapy center and passive enjoyment garden. 

The main function of the courtyard is to provide a series of ordinary site features that children might encounter as obstacles on a daily basis.  The courtyard garden provides them with a safe environment to develop the strength and skills require to negotiate these impediments. 

Children can meet recovery goals in a way that is not clinical in nature. They can learn to go up stairs, down ramps, over various paving textures, across turf, even walk a series of balance beams. These features all blend naturally into the garden setting. 

A secondary goal is providing passive space for children and their parents to enjoy the outdoors and get away from the sterile hospital environment. The 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 medical hospital environment.