THE CHILTERN CENTRE
The Chiltern Centre is a charity care home based in Henley-on-Thames. It provides individualised care for young people (aged 16 – 30) with disabilities and/or complex medical needs. The brief involved re-designing the outdoor space to enable staff to provide inspiring and stimulating activities in the garden setting for the benefit and enjoyment of the residents.
This therapeutic garden design's guiding principle is sustainability, as it is the attention capturing and biophilic response to wildlife and plants that provides the benefit to the individual.
BRINGING THE OUTSIDE IN
The concept was to create a Therapeutic Garden where nature can empower and nurture your spirit and help you escape to new experiences.
SITE CONTEXT AND ANALYSIS
The front garden was bare and exposed with little privacy and shade.
The back garden had remnants of a children’s play area which needs modernising to reflect the residents who now have different interests/needs.
EMOTIONAL RESPONSE TO THE SITE
The emotional response to the site plays an important factor the determining the concept for the design.
Using creative design and sustainable planting to bring global sensory experiences to the garden through the use of colour, aroma, touch, sound and taste.
Transformed into a welcoming, productive kitchen garden, with a pergola of grape vines which provide enclosure, dappled shade and framed views.
A glass garden room situated at the garden’s heart, where activities and therapy sessions can take place in all seasons.
Storage solutions were addressed to have easily accessible outdoor equipment for the garden, as well as a convenient home for the clinical waste where it could be collected easily by waste collection services.
The retaining wall allows wheelchair users close observation of the. The sloping planting into the water allows wildlife safe entry and exit.
DIVERSE PLANTING STRATEGY
Plants have been carefully chosen across the garden scheme for their resilience to the conditions, seasonal interest, and wildlife & pollinator benefits.