Lesley Ann Malapit

Lesley Ann Malapit

Boston, MA, US


Royal Dick Veterinary Hospital Healing Garden

The Royal Dick Veterinary Hospital Healing Garden was designed with both wild/domesticated
animal and human users in mind. The concept was inspired by the types of natural
animals found within the Site (in this case, burrowing animals) and the fusion between animal
systems and human systems. On the next page, the diagram indicates the layering of the
landscape. As a method, the contours were designed to undulate like ribbon strips, angled
to allow maximum levels of sunlight and minimal levels of wind exposure. Underneath these
“ribbons” where there are openings, the landscape offers opportunities for sun pockets, shelters,
and berms. Where these sheltered areas occur, architectural interventions are placed
according to the needs of the hospital, daily functions, and levels of sun exposure the site
gets on a yearly basis. These interventions vary such as: garden pavilions, seminar rooms,
tea houses, sun pockets, berms to guide circulation, and light boxes. These interventions
are sublte on the surface, but below they are complex, multi-functional, and provide many
opportunities for use throughout the day and seasons.

The “ribbons” also provide circulation paths which lead to and in between the trees of the
shelter belt. This is improved by removing invasive species, and enhanced with native shrubs
and trees. The plant materials for the shelter belt vary, and are chosen according to the food
they can offer to the native animals, as well as color and texture as they change throughout
the year. For example, multi-stemmed Betulas are chosen to fill in sparse areas of the shelter;
during winter their white trunks offer a beautiful sculptural aesthetic and can be appreciated
from the adjacent circulation paths. At night, they are lit up with low-level LED lights, and the
white trunks the light providing a soft glow for visitors to enjoy the garden.

Finally, the undulating landscape is given a subtle yet robust treatment with two types of clover-
red and white. During the spring and summer, the clovers are allowed to grow at varied
heights. In other areas, they are mowed and the clippings are used to feed horses, rabbits,
etc. within the veterinary hospital. They are also used for natural medicinal purposes which
the veterinary hospital can use for research. Honey production is also possible within the
clover field and hives can be located in the parcels adjacent to the site. During the Autumn
and Winter, the landscape will mostly be saturated with water or snow; at this time the stone
paths, Tea Houses, Solariums, Garden Pavilions, etc. will be in full use and will offer beautiful
views of the undulating landscape.

The Royal Dick Veterinary Hospital serves not only the University of Edinburgh, but also the
surrounding population and 100+ visitors flow through the hospital on a daily basis. As an
end product, the serene, open, and easy to maintain landscape will allow many opportunities
for visitors to find peace as they mourne for the loss of a pet. In addition it is designed for
students and faculty to use for academic/recreational purposes as well as for dog-walking
and other pets to roam

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Status: School Project
Location: Edinburgh, GB