St. Mary Medical Center

Multiple projects for this Bucks County Hospital.

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Cloister Garden

CVDA has a long-term working relationship with St. Mary Medical Center and has created over 21 different campus, green roof and healing garden projects.  The Cloister Garden was one of the first premium healing garden projects, located in the center of the campus.  Carter van Dyke and the Friends of the Healing Garden at St. Mary Medical Center developed the concept and raised the necessary funds. The master plan includes multiple gardens, each with a separate theme. The first garden, located within the central courtyard of the medical center, was designed to create a relaxing and healing environment for patients, visitors, and staff. The garden was developed with a Japanese theme; one enters the dining terrace through a Japanese tea house. The terrace is enclosed with fencing to separate it from the remainder of the garden, where people may wish to enjoy the garden alone.
Location:  St. Mary Medical Center, Langhorne, Pennsylvania 
Client:  Community League (formerly Friends of the Healing Gardens), St. Mary Medical Center
Completion:  1999-present
Awards:  2007, Award of Honor for Design / Built
Publications:  Healthcare Building Ideas 10/11/07 

Emergency Department Garden

St. Mary Medical Center contains a linked system of healing gardens.  Included in the system is the Emergency Department Garden.  Located just outside of the Emergency Department Waiting Room, the garden features exposed aggregate sidewalks, accent garden lighting, an arbor, and a collection of trees, evergreens, shrubs and perennials.  The purpose of the garden is to provide an alternative sitting area away from the main waiting area.  The plantings in front of the window were kept low to maintain visibility for security personnel.

Cancer Center Healing Garden

Once filled with gravel, this courtyard has been transformed into an outdoor healing garden for chemotherapy patients. The specialized use dictated certain parameters of the design—no fragrant flowers, screening from adjacent hallways and upper floors, and a desire to create a space that relaxes patients waiting for or undergoing treatment.  The design of the garden features white shade sails to bring the space, once dwarfed by adjacent buildings, to a comfortable human scale.  Horizontal shade sails symbolize the compromised situation of patients when they have to focus not on rushing through life, but gathering their recuperative strength.  Rainwater cascades from one sail to another into a rain garden, an example of progressive stormwater management practices that can be used in interior courtyards. The soothing sounds of running water not only help to establish a serene atmosphere, but also direct the eye to the marble fountain and bronze doves, rather than onto other patients.  Aluminum screens will fill in with clematis, further enclosing the private spaces.  This program element—to screen patients, yet provide views into the garden from adjacent hallways—was the biggest challenge of the design process, complicated still more by the limited 2½ foot access for installation.  The project demonstrates that even a small space can achieve the mission of providing healing gardens within an institutional setting.
Click to view a video depicting the transformation of the front entrance: Healing Gardens Transformation
Location:  St. Mary Medical Center, Langhorne, Pennsylvania
Client:  Community League, St. Mary Medical Center
Completion:  1999-present
Sculptor (fountain):  Charles Swanson
Sculptor (doves):  Elaine Franz Witten
Size:  1,150 sqft.

St. Mary Medical Green Roof

Carter van Dyke Associates not only designed the layout for the St. Mary Medical Center green roof, but also assisted in applying for a grant and coordinated consultants in this effort.  The project was made possible in part by $25,000 grant from The Reinvestment Fund and its Sustainable Development Fund.  Beginning in the conceptual phase, CVDA teamed up with Roofscapes, Inc., a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based civil engineering firm. Twelve to eighteen pounds per square foot design loads of the roof presented challenging engineering issues and allowed for a very thin extensive roof with only 3 3/4” of growing media, something that caused severe limitations in the selection of plant material. 
CVDA was able to develop a layout that will be of interest in all seasons, even at times of the year when sedums will be dormant.  Recycled rubber tiles and white pebble bands were used to emphasize the design intent of this unique project.
CVDA’s design inspiration was drawn from a weaver’s loom, which symbolizes the relationship between St. Mary Medical Center and the surrounding community.  The different colored sedum bands became a weft on the loom, which symbolizes the unique path of each patient.  About 2/3 of the sedum plants were broadcasted as cuttings.  Sedums with blue foliage were installed mainly as plugs, as they do not root as easily.
This project not only will provide energy savings and reduce the timing of peak run-off, but it will also provide significantly improved views from the upper three floors of the surrounding buildings.  Though this roof is not physically accessible, it can be enjoyed visually by patients, medical staff and visitors from patient rooms, offices and hallways.
Location:  St. Mary Medical Center, Langhorne, Pennsylvania
Client:  Community League, St. Mary Medical Center 
Engineer:  Roofscapes, Inc.
Size:  5,900 sq. ft.
Completion:  1999-present
St. Mary Surgical / Emergency Department      Green Roof
In continuing to improve the views from patient room and therapy areas, St. Mary Medical Center contracted with CVDA to develop green roof projects over four existing membrane roof areas.  The roof areas include the Surgical Green Roof, the Emergency Department Roof, Emergency Department Canopy Green Roof, and the Pediatrics Green Roof.  The total area of the four rooftop areas is approximately 31,500 square feet.
Each roof was developed with a design concept related to healing. The rooftops were designed with a variety of sedums and grasses, with the soil media depth of three inches for the sedums and six inches for grasses.  The rooftops have electronic leak detection systems using vector mapping.
The design concept of each roof is presented in interpretive panels around the Medical Center Campus.
These projects not only provide energy savings and reduce peak stormwater run-off but also significantly improved views for upper floors of surrounding buildings.  Although the rooftops are designed as a purely visual experience and are not accessible, it can be enjoyed by patients, medical staff and visitors from patient rooms, offices and hallways.
Location:  St. Mary Medical Center, Langhorne, Pennsylvania
Client:  Community League, St. Mary Medical Center

Carter van Dyke
A s s o c i a t e s
Pennsylvania Office
40 Garden Alley
Doylestown, PA 18901
New York Office

6850 S Gannett Hill Rd.
Naples, NY 14512

Contact CVDA
(215) 345-4324 | Fax
Carter van Dyke, RLA, ASLA
Peter R. Fernandez, RLA, ASLA, CLARB