The opening of the new staff garden at Beaumont Hospital took place today, with Mary Lou McDonald officiating the ceremony. The garden was created to acknowledge and commemorate the amazing work done by front-line workers during the global pandemic and to provide all staff with a space to relax, unwind and connect with nature.

“We were initially asked to develop proposals to provide staff with an opportunity to relax, unwind and take gentle exercise,” commented lead designer, Barry Lupton. “Through those initial conversations and examining site opportunities we developed two concepts; The first was a sylvan walk which allowed for retreat, gentle exercise, and a chance to connect with nature. It was created early this year and has proved very popular. The second was for the staff garden, which provided an opportunity for relaxation, mindfulness, social connection and quiet space within easy reach of the facilities.”

Given the site density, opportunities for proposal were limited. After discussion, a site just by the main entrance was chosen and a solid brief took shape. “Management wanted privacy for staff. A place to get away, to shelter, rest, and enjoy a garden-like space”, says Barry. “While we initially toyed with the idea of exercise equipment, we convinced the team to opt for sheltered seating spaces that would allow staff to use the space year-round.”

The final design for the space saught to maximise the limited area, while also working with an existing oak tree. “The oak tree, which sits in the middle of the space is one of two original trees on the site. Although previously damaged, management was keen to hold on to it. We were happy to keep it too, albeit with some necessary care.” The garden now features a central social space, undulating grass areas, timber-framed seating pods, bench seating, a commemorative tree, and an abundance of ornamental trees, shrubs, and perennial plants. “This was really special for us,” says, Barry. “To have the opportunity to do what we love for the most deserving people in the country was a real privilege for Sanders, Colum, Lauris, Raivis and the whole team.” 

You can listen to Mary Lou McDonald’s opening ceremony speech on Facebook here.

Sincere thanks to Beaumont Hospital CEO, Ian Carter, to head of TCD services, Peter O’Donovan and the whole team at Beaumont Hospital for their trust in us to deliver.

A short time-lapse of the construction 

A selection of photos capturing the project build