I have many questions and thoughts about the hospital we visited this week. Both outdoors spaces we visited were similar in that they both embodied many RPM concepts, but the buildings that they were attached to or surrounded couldn’t be more different. The first house we visited was a house meant to provide those undergoing oncological treatments with a place to get support and advice; as well as giving them a place to feel at home and recover/relax after their treatments. It also had a great garden outback that was as good an example of the RPM model as any other garden I’ve seen. However, the hospital was the opposite of the recovery house. It wasn’t a horrible place, but preventative medicine is what most hospitals preach as it helps avoid future complications, and the rooms that we saw in the hospital made me depressed as we walked by. The hospital itself appeared to be relatively modern and clean, but as we passed by rooms on various floors, I got a glimpse inside of them.
They were all dark rooms, even though they had windows, and also had a minimal amount of anything on the walls. It was very weird; the hospital itself was surrounded by gardens and green spaces and paths lined with herbs and flowers, but the inside was a pretty awful, depressing place. The garden at the cancer patient house had a small backyard, but walking through it, you would never know it. It’s paths had high, dense rows and clumps of different vegetation of all different colors and sizes, and the path through the backyard leading to a small open patch concealed everything beyond the bend with foliage, but was also orderly and visually appealing. It was the definition of the RPM model. The house also had plants dotted throughout it, and had a large glass cupola that allowed people who are afraid of nature to be outside. The garden was beautiful, and I can only imagine how restorative it would have been in the summer (Pics should be attached to this post).
Outside of the hospital, we found several small pools with running water and a variety of plants. One garden, with an arbor right behind the hospital, was particularly well designed with winding paths and vegetation everywhere. And the last garden we saw (on the way out) had within about 200 square feet not just goldfish in it’s pond, but a turtle, multiple frogs and insects, as well as a praying mantis that was moving through the flowers. How come a hospital that appeared so vibrant on the outside was so dark on the inside? It could be for hygienic reasons as well as convenience, but the contrast between the inside and outside was striking. I’m sure that they have their reasons, but couldn’t the hospital have had a little more areas of soft fascination? It surely had mystery, as we wound our way through several anonymous corridors, and had no idea what lay beyond each corner, but I couldn’t find anything truly restorative about it.