Meet Gary Meisner, FASLA, Landscape Architect with Meisner & Associates/Land Vision.
Growing up in Romeo, Michigan, Gary Meisner spent time working with his grandfather in the local peach orchards and its long rows of agricultural architecture. It was this experience, along with an admiration for Roberto Burle Marx, a Brazilian landscape architect (as well as a painter, print maker, ecologist, naturalist, artist and musician) whose designs of parks and gardens made him world famous, that inspired Gary to become a landscape architect.
“I enjoy creating outdoor spaces that are sustainable but also leave people feeling inspired,” explains Gary. “Mercy Health – West Hospital is a special project because from the very beginning of the project there was an interest in green space and areas for reflection and inspiration, and not many hospitals take this type of healing approach. Mercy Health wants to create a space that is not only clinically healing, but is interesting, artful and uplifting for its patients, visitors and employees to view.”
The experience begins at the entrance at North Bend Road. A low entry wall will be adorned with prairie landscape and prairie grasses. The driveway leads to a “roundabout” with prairie plants and grasses and a low berm between the roundabout and parking, providing a framed view of the hospital.
The hospital will boast a 2.5 acre green roof. When complete it will be the largest green roof in the state of Ohio. It will include native plants and prairie grass that becomes moving swirls with a breeze.
The hospital’s chapel will have a glass wall from which you can view a small green roof. “When you face the window, it will look like a framed picture of nature blue sky, plants and a mix of flowers for year round blooms and colors; a place for introspect,” says Gary.
Mercy Health – West Hospital will include a small replica of the undoubtedly best known labyrinth of its type – the beautifully preserved pavement labyrinth in Chartres Cathedral (also called the Cathedral of Notre-Dame) in France, constructed during the second decade of the 13th century. Easily accessible from the main entrance, the space will include circular seating and a resting place for time to reflect and relax, and a path with sitting stones, grasses, small trees and creeping thyme to complement the prairie theme of the green roof and campus.
“It has been an incredible experience working with Gary and his team,” notes Mike Stephens, president and Market Leader, Mercy Health – West Hospital. “Together, we are basically creating an outdoor cathedral.”
“I hope that when Mercy Health – West Hospital is finished, it will serve as a beautiful inspiration to all who come here,” adds Gary. “Imagine if your legacy is creating spiritual, healing outdoor spaces that inspire others. As a landscape architect, I can think of nothing better.”