Facility: Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale–New Haven
Location: New Haven, Conn.
Architect: Shepley Bulfinch
Landscape Architect: Towers|Golde

In keeping with its mission of healing and renewal, the Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale–New Haven (Conn.) en­sures that the spiritual power of nature is readily accessible.

The Betty Ruth & Milton Hollander Healing Garden offers a naturalistic retreat for the exclusive use of patients, their families and caregivers. The patient-centered design has become a popular place to seek respite as it allows for year-round access to the restorative powers of nature.

Lush plantings and richly detailed materials define a sequential circuit of gracious spaces with seating alcoves for contemplation or intimate conversation. Located atop the seventh floor roof of one section of the hospital, the garden provides scenic views of the area.

The garden's central feature is a stream that winds around boulders, creating visual focus and acoustic privacy. Custom wood seating, brick and wood paving, trellises and granite bases for sculptural bonsai displays add richness and personal scale.

The garden won an Award of Merit from the Connecticut Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects and also helped the hospital earn a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification.

Perhaps most importantly, the garden has won praise from patients.

To submit a Last Detail case for consideration, please contact senior editor Jeff Ferenc at jferenc@healthforum.com.