#WLAM2019 | Holistic healthcare design

By: CTA Project Capsule
12 April 2019

For World Landscape Architecture Month, we’re taking a look at some of the ways we can push the boundaries in landscape architecture. The projects cover an array of concepts: how nature-driven design can facilitate well-being, site development that supports local ecosystems, and the use of virtual reality in landscape design.

The project capsule below demonstrates how design can mirror familiar landscapes, offering comfort on the journey to healing.

Redefining the patient experience

It’s an exciting time to be a landscape architect. More and more, people want to restore the healing connection with nature, and we help make that happen.

– Wes Baumgartner,
Landscape Architect

For Bozeman Health’s new intensive care unit currently under construction, our design team focused on the landscape’s ability to inspire healing. People who live in Bozeman, Montana, are incredibly connected to the outdoors — for many, that’s precisely why they live there and also why people visit.

To incorporate the feeling of the surrounding valley and mountains, the team recreated three environments in the facility’s landscape, weaving them together to create connection. These comprise a mountain ravine, wildflower meadow, and forest.

The enclosed contemplation garden, which will be situated outside a window wall at the terminus of the chapel, mirrors a small mountain ravine. Rain water and snow melt from the roof will be channeled into the garden to create a water feature, which will cascade down a stepped wall into a narrow stream running through the garden. Symbolizing hope and rejuvenation, the garden will create a serene environment that brings nature in, and also serves as a protected sanctuary.


A contemplation garden incorporates native Montana plants and trees for year-round beauty. The water feature (which utilizes rain water and snow melt from the roof) transforms into an ice sculpture colder months.

The wildflower meadow will consist of a large swath of low-growing native plants that help accentuate the main entry. Punctuated throughout the meadow will be a series of pathways and berms that represent the foothills and provide a sense of spatial enclosure and protection. Additionally, a representation of fallen logs will dissect the swath, continuing into the building to provide cohesion from outside to inside, as well as informal seating.


The grand entry features sweeping landscaping that mirrors a meadow and is punctuated throughout with pathways, berms, and seating.

The third environment represents forest — trees and understory plants will help soften the building and provide visual interest around the entry. These little islands of forest will offer shade and sheltered seating areas throughout the space for patients, their families, and ICU staff.

The overall design emphasizes connections to nature, creating a holistic aesthetic from a distance, pulling into the parking lot, and walking through the doors. Wellness in relation to the physical body, mind and spirit, as well as the natural environment were crucial to Bozeman Health’s vision for the facility, with sustainability fundamental to the design. When complete, the new ICU will be an example of how nature can influence and facilitate holistic healing.

Bozeman Health’s new ICU will be surrounded by natural environments to help facilitate healing and well-being. 

For previous #WLAM2019 posts this month, check out our CTA blog.

Share
  • Write a comment