Boston Children’s Hospital Masterplan by

2023 Campuses and Corporate / Massachusetts / USA / Built in 2022 /

Located in the heart of the Longwood Medical District, the Boston Children’s Hospital Green Urban Design plan is an ongoing, community-based project focused on bringing restorative healing gardens and more effective medical care to the patients, families and caregivers of this world-class pediatric institution. Utilizing evidence-based design that demonstrates the importance of easily accessible green spaces and human-centered design, the plan reimagines communal open space within the clinical environment. The result is a strategic integration of eight unique gardens, enhanced arrival streetscape, and interstitial spaces within the campus that foster health and well-being while providing immersive experiences and sense of play.

As a world-class pediatric institution, the expansion of Boston Children’s Hospital engaged a diverse design team to provide a state-of-the art campus incorporating the latest thinking of open space integration. The resulting Green Urban Design Plan, developed through a three-year extensive community-design process, provides a phased framework for the open space on the BCH campus. Inspired by the comfort the former Prouty Garden Dawn Redwood once provided to families on site, this green masterplan addresses the diverse user needs by weaving biophilic and human-centered design to create playful and immersive experiences.

Phase I incorporated a redesign of the ‘front door’ along Longwood Ave, new bridge connection, and addition of a new 8,000 SF roof garden on BCH’s existing building. Phase II established a new entrance sequence with two street level gardens: the 14,000 SF Wishingstone Garden and the more active Shattuck Garden. Phase III integrates open space throughout the new Hale Building. This includes a 12th floor occupiable roof garden; 5th floor garden adjacent to the psychiatric care; 7th floor green roof; and two interior winter gardens, totalling 3,700 SF.

Seeking to provide greater district connectivity, the plan incorporated a walking circuit linking BCH’s main campus to the broader Longwood neighbourhood, Emerald Necklace, and BCH’s Brookline Place Outpatient Center. This route offers opportunities for gentle physical activity for patients and practitioners. The reconsideration of the Longwood Avenue entrance – incorporating colorful pavers and granite art wall celebrating local flora and fauna – provides a playful gateway and welcoming front door for the neighbourhood. Interior winter gardens within the new Hale Building serve as year-round sanctuaries for the hospital’s most vulnerable populations. Reclaimed Dawn Redwood benches create an homage to the tree once rooted on the project site, while natural lighting, expansive views, and play structures link those within the hospital to the outside world. Three exterior roof terraces, open to fresh air, offer panoramic views to the surrounding city and a sense of openness. Seating nooks nestled within wild plant beds provide respite for patients and staff. These winter gardens and sky terraces offer a refreshing reprieve from the internal systems of the clinical environment. Fully alive with pollinating plant beds, these gardens offer soft spaces for intimate connection between hospital staff and patient families offering a range of experiences from quiet contemplative to active and social. This green design engages and expands Boston’s urban habitats and wildlife community through the diversity of design and plant material within each garden. Roof top pollinator gardens offer niche urban habitats, all-season interest – providing for pollinators and birds beyond the City’s streetscape.

This Urban Design celebrates the healing capacities of connecting to the ecological world. From its sanctuary spaces to active play areas, it puts forward a vision for state-of-the-art care hinging on greenspaces tailored to the unique needs of today’s pediatric patients. Building on the extensive clinical and psychological research that shows the positive impacts of easily accessible gardens on the mind and body, this urban plan integrates biophilic and human-centered design to provide nature spaces to heal our youngest and most vulnerable patients.

Location: 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston MA
Design year: 2016/2017
Year Completed: 2021/2022


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