Publication Date

Spring 2022

Committee Members

Patricia McGirr, Committee Chair Michael Davidsohn, Member


Currently in the United States there are 51.5 million Americans suffering from mental illness (Mental Illness, 2021). With trends having been on the rise over the past decade, particularly for depression and anxiety, and showing a significant jump during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is crucial that behavioral health hospitals utilize all available treatment methods (Daly et. al., 2021, & Goodwin et. al., 2020). While the outdoor environment has played a role in mental and physical healthcare since the 11th Century, it has been largely lost until the late 1900s. Through research and evidence-based design, a holistic approach to healthcare is becoming more prevalent in which the landscape plays a role in patient’s healing (Yucel, 2013). Due to the increasing rates of mental illness in the United States, it is important that patients receiving mental health care are being treated on all levels, including the incorporation of the landscape in the healing process. This project acknowledges the need for therapeutic landscapes in mental healthcare and proposes a master plan redesign for Bournewood Hospital in Brookline, Massachusetts. Using evidence-based design principles, guidelines, and theories, this project will determine how best to apply existing research on the hospital’s 12 acre campus. A strategy for intervention will be discussed with the hospital to determine how best to design the campus to create a landscape that plays an active role in the mental health of the patients, staff, and visitors.