A Hospital’s Oasis
The patients at Children’s National Health System’s main campus in Washington, D.C., needed fresh air. Going outside, however, is not always simple for hospitalized children, many of whom are not fully mobile or are connected to medical equipment. In addition, the hospital fronts a major urban avenue with little in the way of green space. In 2013, hearing of the significant logistical obstacles that hospital staff overcame to grant one terminally ill patient’s request to go outside, a donor stepped forward to turn the hospital’s long-held desire for a Healing Garden into reality. However, before the garden could become a reality, the project’s structural engineer had to design structural strengthening to allow the conversion of the unoccupied roof to an outdoor respite for young patients and their families.