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2014 Healthcare Design Magazine Article on Smilow/Hollander Healing Garden

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Healthcare Design Magazine June 2014:

Garden Brings Tranquility to Cancer Center's Urban Locale

In the heart of busy New Haven, Conn., is a little piece of tranquility for patients going through chemotherapy treatment at Smilow Cancer Hospital. In fact, the Betty Ruth and Milton B. Hollander Healing Garden, perched on top of a seventh floor setback of a 14-story building, has become a defining feature of the hospital's overall design.

When the client proposed the idea of a healing garden, landscape architects and planners Towers|Golde LLC (New Haven, Conn.) initially went in the direction of a modern, high-style landscape design. "The 'aha' moment wasn't until we had our first meeting with a group of cancer survivors," says Bob Golde, partner and principal on the project. "The overall impression we walked away with was, 'Don't give us something that looks designed. What we want is what we see out our back door. We don't want to feel like we're in a big, urban medical center.'"

That insight inspired the Towers|Golde team to switch gears. Rather than following the original slick, contemporary design approach, the firm decided on a more organic and natural aesthetic. The resulting design won Gold in the acute care category of the inaugural Landscape Architecture for Healthcare Communities Awards from Vendome Healthcare Media (parent company of Healthcare Design).

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