Designed for Healing and Community
OLIN has designed the surrounding campus and healing gardens for Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, one of the largest pediatric hospitals and research institutes in the United States. The tower and campus were designed as a cohesive and holistic healing environment that reaches beyond the campus itself, creating opportunities for the institution to become a good neighbor to the community. “The project expands the principles of therapeutic gardens to the entire healthcare campus and neighboring community, Partner Laurie Olin explains. “Nationwide Children’s Hospital is a pioneer in its field in that the hospital has created something for people beyond just its own patients.” Green infrastructure practices were incorporated into the landscape, including rainwater collection, storage and re-use, and an approximate 2.5-acre increase of permeable surface throughout the campus. A LEED® certified central energy plant supplies sustainable energy to the entire hospital campus.
The design for the new six-acre landscape serves the needs of the campus while creating accessible space for surrounding neighborhoods. Adjacent to historic Livingston Park, the campus extends gathering spaces and creates a cohesive park setting along the entire southern perimeter of the campus. A series of healing gardens provides an amenity that is enjoyed by young patients, their families and the medical staff. A sensory-rich maze of plantings includes lemon and chocolate mints, wild thyme, fluffy lamb’s ear, cone flower and colorful snapdragon. The gardens also include children’s climbing sculptures, an intimate area for storytelling, and a moonlight garden that extends the use of the site into the evening. Views of the “maze” healing gardens.
As the main corridors of entry, the vast surrounding avenues of Livingston and Parsons were transformed into grand canopied civic boulevards with an allée of London Plane trees and new disease resistant American Elms, new sidewalks, brick crosswalks and bicycle lanes. The avenues have also been re-graded to better integrate utility corridors and introduce bio-filtration rain gardens, which help absorb and filter stormwater runoff. Along Parsons Avenue, a luminous ‘Grove of Light,’ consisting of a series of illuminated vertical masts, defines the entry into the hospital campus.
The design team created continuity between interior and exterior spaces to provide an enhanced visual and physical connection to natural materials and flora. Interior design of the tower incorporates playful nature-themed motifs, such as mobile sculptures depicting colorful flocks of birds. The welcome lobby employs wood paneling and surprises guests through the use of playful figures such as rabbits, deer and turtles. This relationship between interior and exterior is fully realized in the dining courtyard, which connects the hospital tower to the landscape. The dining courtyard is a tranquil area under a dappled canopy of Locust trees and vertical plantings of Virginia Creeper vine, which creates a feeling of woodland surround. The bluestone paved courtyard is bordered by grooved walls, which are reminiscent of the regional limestone strata of nearby Hocking Hills State Park.
OLIN was part of a multidisciplinary team, which included FKP Architects, local landscape architects MKSK, engineers EMH&T and Trans Associates, environmental designer Ralph Appelbaum and Associates and Horton, Lees, Brogden Lighting Design.
OLIN Team Members: Partner-in-Charge Laurie Olin, Partners Hallie Boyce and Richard Roark, and Senior Landscape Architect Benjamin Monette.