THE HAPPY GARDEN
OUTHOUSE design was approached by the Sydney Children’s Hospital in the hope that we could turn a hot, harsh concrete balcony into an engaging garden. The main aim of the space would be to give some form of respite for sick children.
We also wanted children using the space to be inspired, let the imagination run wild and just think of something else rather than the daunting daily health challenges that they are being confronted with.
We created lawn using synthetic grass, murals to represent the enchanted forest and toadstools for seating and shade structures. Oversized pots allow for mature trees and scented shrubs and hanging moss from the coloured archway creates a sense of mystery.
The 4 metre high magic light tree acts as the centre piece and a bright and open gazebo with skylight caters for a hospital bed, so even at night time children can look up and see the magical night time stars, maybe even dream a little.
“This is no ordinary garden. Sit in the gazebo, or the butterfly seats, the leaf seats, the red dotted toadstool table & chairs, the red and white dot bean bags or even in the mobile phone box and you can feel it – through the combined skills and talents of all involved everyone brought their love to an empty concrete balcony for the good of all. That is very special indeed – on behalf of us all at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick – thank you.”
“I love the new Happy Garden because it’s so open and I can go in further and see everything! My favourite thing is the huge gazebo with the see-through roof … it is big enough for me to fit inside it as well as all my friends! I also love the tree with the fairy lights, the beautiful murals and the butterfly seats! The fairy garden makes me feel happy!”
“It was as if every decision in the design process had been made with the patients’ needs at the very heart of it, and yet I had never stepped into a space that was less medical than this was. It was a place of wonder, and I knew without a doubt, for our family and for hundreds of families like ours, it would become a precious oasis and an essential part of the healing process.”