For Van Alen Report 20, we invited designers from around the world to share projects at the vanguard of using science-informed practices to design healthier cities. For each featured project, we asked the designers to identify the health impacts intended, and discuss how insights from neuroscience or psychology influenced the project’s design. We also consider how each project might advance both the conversation about evidence-based design, and the greater pursuit of designing healthier cities for all. These profiles have been adapted from the designers’ responses.
Situated in the heart of downtown Chicago, the Crown Sky Garden is a sanctuary for patients, families, doctors and administrators within the 23-story Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. A 5,000 sf area on the 11th floor was transformed into an inspiring healing garden.
The commitment to this sky garden was built upon a growing body of scientific research which links access to natural light and contemplative spaces to reduced patient recovery time. The resulting design creates a vibrant sense of place and demonstrates innovative thinking for child-centered healthcare and healing environments. This regenerative project offers a new paradigm for healthcare design that integrates healing gardens as part of the healthcare regiment within these institutional environments.
Project imagery courtesy Nick Merrick, Hall+ Merrick Photographers.
With VAR 20, we explore the often hidden connection between mental health and urban environments. We hope this issue makes people more aware of the many ways our cities impact our health, our brains, and our lives. To receive future articles and interviews from Van Alen Report, please subscribe below.