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A Healing Plaza

University of Missouri Health Care Healing Garden Courtyard
Columbia, Missouri, USA

“Being comfortable within the space is essential for the patients. It is very important for mind healing, and mind healing is very important to body healing. We don’t just want bricks and mortar. We want healing happening in the healing garden.”

Paul Dale, MD
Interim Medical Director, Ellis Fischel Cancer Center
Medical Construction & Design

As if carved out of the architecture, this new courtyard sits at the intersection of the existing hospital and a new patient care tower. 

Serving as the main wayfinding object in the new portion of the hospital, the healing garden courtyard is at the heart of the building. Light floods into the structure from this small space, and expansive views make the healing garden a focal point from every floor.

Imitating the local geography, dramatic topographic forms give people inside the building a distinct foreground while providing a sense of privacy and intimacy to those visiting the space. 

Native vegetation, contemporary materials and a soothing water feature give visitors a sense of peace. A large deck space adjacent to the interior physical therapy space is shaded by a single dogwood tree – the state tree of Missouri and a central branding element of the hospital.


3,100 sq. ft. / 300 sq. m.


Landscape Architecture
Lighting Design


2011 Merit Award, American Society of Landscape Architects


15 November 2013
“Healing Gardens”
Medical Construction & Design