how can our landscapes support the patient healing process within the urban grid?


The Washington University Medical Center began its Campus Renewal Project with the expansion of the St. Louis Children’s Hospital and the construction of a new medical tower for the Barnes Jewish Hospital. The project team was tasked with designing the new facility focused on the comfort, healing, and safety of patients and families with the goal of providing a holistic approach to patient care. Working with local landscape architects DTLS, we designed four therapeutic landscapes for patients, their care-givers, and families on intensive, accessible green roofs. Each green roof carefully balances the rare and enlivening experience of the outdoors with medical and physical sensitivities, such as allergens, light exposure, and skin and bone frailties. Just as important were the ease of use of doors and benches, the accommodation of wheel chairs and IV stands, and the attenuation of vertigo while perched seven stories up.

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The half-billion dollar project, led by program construction manager Jacobs and executive architect HOK, was executed using an Integrated Project Delivery development system. Our work on the green roof gardens was carefully planned to support adjacent healthcare services. Each therapeutic green roof was designed for a specific patient group including:

  • A place for bone marrow transplant and other cancer patients;
  • A private, unoccupied green roof exclusively for active labor and delivery;
  • A garden for new mothers and their immediate families, as part of the maternity floor; and
  • A children’s garden for patients, family, and friends.

Achieving peaceful and sheltered conditions for gardens and people to thrive required the design of several fully custom structures that were the result of close collaboration with architects and structural engineers. In addition to the roof gardens, Andropogon managed lighting, irrigation, and streetscape designs, and also designed the main entry drop-off and a dining terrace for the new Barnes Jewish Hospital tower.


  • Location: St. Louis, MO
  • Size: 1 acre
  • Role: Landscape Architect of Record
  • Services: Sustainable Site Design, Stormwater Management, Green Roof Design, Construction Documentation and Observation