York Hospitals NHS Trust

Date started: 
Organisation:  acute
Service:  adult acute
Project:  gardens
The courtyard before the project
A  view of the courtyard from above
The tree sculpture lights up at night


Nightingale's Courtyard, York Hospital

Aims and outcomes

The project team wanted to create a peaceful garden retreat that would be accessible to patients, visitors and staff at all times.

The chosen design means that the garden can be enjoyed by patients within the adjacent wards, as well as from within the courtyard. Planting was chosen to provide interest throughout the year and to complement the hard landscaping features. Shelters have been provided so the garden can be used in all seasons and, together with the wooden seating and planters, gives a modern feel to the space.

The commissioned 'tree' sculpture at the centre of the garden is illuminated at night by tiny lights at the end of the branches. Other artworks in the garden include a mosaic at the base of the sculpture, words engraved into the paving stones and a sound installation. All of the artworks were commissioned following consultations with patients, volunteers and staff. The official opening of the courtyard included a special dance and music performance and further live arts performances are planned.

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