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The Health Benefits of Plants, at Last in a Hospital


The architects Rem Koolhaas and Steven Holl have designed a hospital in which plants participate in the curing of patients.

Contact with nature offers almost immediate benefits to our well-being. Enjoying proximity to plants, walking in a garden and caring for an animal are some of the points of contact with other living things that have a positive effect on our daily reality.

This premise, which could appear very simple, has been seized upon by the architects Rem Koolhaas and Steven Holl, and who have designed a hospital for Heatherwick Studio in which plants have a primordial rule in the recovery of patients’ health.

Once built, the hospital will be an extension of the University of St. James’s Hospital, in the English city of Leeds, and will be full of plants, some of them enormous, that will create the sense of being in a curative and tranquil paradise, designed as such for people affected by types of cancer and for their relatives that accompany them.

The hospital’s architectural design incorporates both communal and private spaces, interior and outdoor, binomials that appear to be appropriate to the search for health as they bring together opposing circumstances.

After all, recovery is about promoting a healthy relationship by oneself, and harnessing its positive qualities.

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