The Terence Cardinal Cooke Health Care Center, a long-term care facility located in East Harlem, provides services for the elderly and individuals with developmental disabilities and HIV/AIDS. Built in 1995 on a barren rooftop, the garden now welcomes all residents, visitors, and staff and provides a specialized therapeutic environment for the adjacent AIDS care wing. This early and influential project shows the effectiveness of gardens to enhance the quality of the health care environment.
The design focuses on the specific needs of individuals with HIV, including strength and stamina, varying sensory abilities, sunlight sensitivity, awareness, orientation, and the need for activity, interaction, privacy, and independence. The garden also hosts a horticultural therapy program linked to the Center’s physical and occupational therapy programs. Dirtworks provided complete professional services on a pro-bono basis. The firm has stayed involved in the project since its inception, providing a unique opportunity for long-term post-occupancy research with particular design observations regarding issues of safety and security.
1995 ASLA Merit Award in Design
1995 Philip Winslow Landscape Design Award
1995 AHTA Therapeutic Garden Design Honor Award
2003 William E. Simon Award
2010 Mary White Commitment Award
2010 ASLA New York Chapter Merit Award
architect: Michael Rubin Architects
photographer: Bruce Buck