Designed for healing – the gardens of the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital

Queensland Childrens Hospital Garden

The design of the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital presents an excellent case study illustrating the health and environmental benefits that can be achieved in an urban environment. Integrated in the project and building design are external spaces of exceptional scale and quality. Eleven roof top gardens and a 600 m2 green sloping roof symbolise the green credentials and holistic approach to health and wellbeing.


Research increasingly shows the significance of nature and the built environment on health and wellbeing in urban environments. It suggests access to nature can manipulate our frame of mind and in turn this can affect our physiological and psychological health. Studies have shown, exposure to nature can improve our physiological health by lowering blood pressure and reducing the release of stress hormones. This can have a positive effect on the patient’s recovery and arguably reduce hospital stay.


The green credentials of the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital, a children’s hospital like no other, go beyond solely external spaces to integrate these with architectural design and the healing philosophy underpinning the project.  The success of this holistic and contemporary approach has been recognised with a number of awards including accolades from the Design and Health International Academy.


The award winning Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital illustrates the health and environmental benefits that can be achieved through evidence based ‘green’ design. It similarly provides insight into processes and factors that assist in their achievement. Measuring and evaluating the resulting level of success of the Lady Cilento healing gardens will be the focus of research in the near future. Such research has the potential to influence the way health facilities are designed and the general approach to health care delivery within a global context.