Benesse Healing Garden at the Benesse Oncology Center, part of the Major Hospital system in Shelbyville, is an integral part of Benesse’s mind-body-soul treatment philosophy. The almost one-acre park has four water features, meandering walkways, lush plantings and several seating areas that allow for social interaction or privacy.
Concrete was chosen as the base building material because of its long life span, easy maintenance, versatility and beauty. Besides being beautiful to behold, the garden was designed to surpass ADA accessibility standards. It is not only extremely walkable but it can accommodate patients confined to hospitals beds that can be wheeled out so they can enjoy the peaceful garden. It also can be enjoyed from indoors, through floor-to-ceiling windows in the center’s treatment bays.
The garden includes:
- A Greek mythological-influenced labyrinth with a sand-matrix finish. Saw cut by hand and stained in contrasting colors, it melds a deep, saturated brown with a sand-colored tan. A polished granite boulder in the center serves as the focal point.
- A leaf plaza with large leaf patterns hand-drawn in the wet concrete. The leaves are hand-stained in various colors to create a random pattern. To make the colors more vibrant, the plaza was sealed with an acrylic sealer.
- An obelisk water feature made from a recycled concrete urn, slumped glass and stainless steel. An escutcheon ring for the urn’s base was custom-made out of concrete.
- The Spirit Garden contains a seating area similar to a Native American kiva pit, a sacred place for storytelling and meditation.
While this is the furthest project away from downtown, you may find this stop both soothing and magnetic. It’s in close vicinity to the Indiana Grand Racing & Casino, which has newly placed decorative concrete in its deli area and – most appropriately – a long-established area in its winners’ circle.