London-based Mcmullan Studio shaped the Garden Room like a pod and covered it in wooden shingles so it sits in harmony with its beautiful garden surrounding. Originally built for  created for spinal-injury charity Horatio’s Garden for its exhibit at the 2023 RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London.

The small space was created as a “beautiful, immersive, restorative haven” where patients with spinal injuries at a hospital in Sheffield can relax and immerse themselves in the comfort and tranquility the garden brings. It features large openings and a central circular skylight that connects the indoors to the outdoors. This concept was inspired by the Japanese concept of forest bathing. It sits in the middle of a reciprocal roof, which is a twisting circle of interlocking beams that needs no central support to allow the interior to be as open and unobstructed as possible.

Moreover, the structure of the Garden Room frames a glazed rooflight that allows daylight inside and offers everchanging views of the overhanging tree canopies. Aside from the exterior, wooden finishes are also used inside where there is space for sitting and a bed underneath the skylight. 

The design “addresses the issue of monotony and lack of stimulation experienced by patients who are confined to staring at hospital ward ceilings, particularly those who cannot move or lift their heads due to spinal injuries,” director Andrew Mcmullan tells Dezeen of the purpose behind the Garden Room.

“We all know how good being in nature can make us feel. We have known it for centuries. The sounds of the forest, the scent of the trees, the sunlight playing through the leaves, the fresh, clean air — these things give us a sense of comfort.”

Mcmullan Studio worked with landscape designers Harris Bugg Studio on the Garden Room. Following Horatio’s Garden exhibit, the pavilion will become a permanent fixture at the Princess Spinal Injuries Centre in Sheffield, which will open in 2024.

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Images courtesy of Mcmullan Studio