CHRISTUS St. Vincent Hospital

Location: Santa Fe, NM

Completed: Healing Garden: 2000, Entry Court: 2012

The Healing Garden at CHRISTUS St. Vincent Hospital in Santa Fe was designed to support the healing process for patients at the Cancer Treatment Center.  This result is achieved both actively and passively.  Greg Miller of MRWM met with doctors and patients and learned that recovery is both a physical and mental process.  The garden is therefore structured to provide challenge and reward opportunities for patients to progressively experience more, and to overcome new challenges as their recovery allows.  

The process works like this: at first patients access the top terrace in a wheelchair, a week later they reach the middle terrace by maneuvering the steps that are specifically design for use with walkers, the week after that they reach the mid-point of the curvilinear seat wall on foot, the week after that they reach the intimate seating space at the end of the seatwall, and the last week of recovery they reach the mural and water feature at the bottom terrace by using a standard stairway.  This process actively encourages patients to build their strength, accomplish increasingly difficult tasks, and enjoy the rewards of experiencing new spaces within the garden.

The Entry Court was completed in 2012. The plant palette here provides year-round color and interest within a shaded seating area. Several sculptural pieces were integrated into the design.

MRWM has worked with CHRISTUS St. Vincent on numerous projects over the years.