The Christ Hospital Joint and Spine Center Project was developed to create a warm and inviting environment for patients, visitors and staff.

The landscape component consisted of a series of courts and gardens dedicated to a wide array of departments and users outlets for gathering, waiting, reflecting and healing. The design directive included implementing cutting-edge sustainability practices and enhanced accessibility and circulation all contribute to the ultimate success of the design.

Two water features occupy both ends of Healing Garden.

Project Owner: The Christ Hospital (

Project Design Team: Skidmore, Owings and Merrill Architects:, Fosdick & Hilmer: , Champlin Architects, THP Limited, Shuler Shook, Office of James Burnett Landscape Architecture: and Fountain Source Engineering and Design, Inc.

For 125 years, The Christ Hospital has been a leader in medical excellence. Located in downtown Cincinnati, the Hospital is a 555-bed, not-for-profit acute care facility offering services in cardiovascular care, spine treatment, women’s health, major surgery, cancer, behavioral medicine, orthopaedics, emergency care, kidney transplant and others. The Christ Hospital is consistently recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the USA’s top 50 hospitals in several categories. The Christ Hospital became the USA’s first hospital to be awarded LEED® for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance™ certification by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute. The Christ Hospital landscape master plan is designed to create a warm and inviting atmosphere for patients, visitors, and staff. Reflecting the cultural personality of Cincinnati and the rich historical signature of the Mt. Auburn neighborhood, the landscape respects and pays homage to the past while celebrating the future.  

A series of landscaped courts dedicated to a wide array of departments and users provides outlets for gathering, waiting, reflecting, and healing. Implementing cutting-edge sustainability practices, an optimized campus experience, and enhanced accessibility and circulation all contribute to the ultimate success of the design. By encouraging expansion and responsible growth, the landscape master plan creates a benchmark for the healthcare experience.

Established in 1889, The Christ Hospital ranks among the best medical facilities in the nation. Given its growing needs, the institution tapped SOM to design a 1.4-million-square-foot master plan that included street reconfigurations, a new entrance, and improvements to the central utility plant. SOM also designed a new Joint and Spine Center that serves as a contemporary addition to the medical campus. 

The 381,000-square-foot masonry-and-glass building draws from the predominantly red-brick character of the hospital’s existing buildings. Patient rooms on the upper floors offer stunning views of downtown Cincinnati and beyond. Lower floors house orthopaedic, spine, and sports medicine facilities that connect with the hospital’s existing surgical and imaging areas. Wood finishes and other warm materials help create a tranquil and therapeutic environment for patients, visitors, and healthcare professionals.

Location: Cincinnati, OH
Team: Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, Fosdick & Hilmer, Champlin Architects, THP Limited, Schuler Shook
LEED: Gold Certified
Art: Jim Arp, Bezier, The Office of James Burnett
Awards: BSLA Honor Award in Design, 2017