Bunny Mellon Healing Garden
Children's National Medical Center
Project size: 7,200 SF
The Bunny Mellon Healing Garden, dedicated to the First Ladies of the United States, is a vision long in the planning. A patient’s last wish to go outdoors was the genesis for the garden concept that has become a reality due to generous donors, including the design and construction hours donated by Perkins+Will and the consultant team.
Located on the third floor of Children’s National Medical Center, the rooftop garden is a place of respite from the clinical environment for patients of all ages, family and staff. The garden features walking paths with play-friendly surfaces, benches and regional plants, a maze for meditation and play, and a water feature. Overlooking the adjacent McMillan Reservoir, the garden has views to the Capitol and monuments on the National Mall.
The garden seamlessly blends design with the unique needs of a hospital, including access for patients in wheelchairs, with IV poles, equipment requiring power outlets, as well as eliminating any plant or soils that could cause infections. Water is considered a soothing and healing element, however, for a hospital with very sick children the infection control group was very involved, ensuring all precautions were taken.