Horatio's Garden
Stoke Mandeville Hospital, Aylesbury

Horatio's Garden is a charity creating beautiful gardens for NHS spinal injury centres. The charity is named after Horatio Chapple, a volunteer at Salisbury spinal centre, whose research established the need to provide an escape away from wards for patients and families affected by spinal injury. Sadly, Horatio did not live to see the completed garden at the centre as he was killed by a polar bear at age 17 while on an expedition to Svalbard. The charity, therefore, has been created to realise his idea and provide welcoming and uplifting spaces for patients to enjoy.

This project provides a garden pavilion at Stoke Mandeville Hospital Spinal Unit near Aylesbury. The new building provides a café and indoor storage space within the gardens of the hospital.

The roof structure is formed using glulam and steel flitch beams which splay outwards diagonally from two central column locations, with a clerestory window hung from the roof on all four sides. These beams cantilever forward 7.5m from the two central columns, the roof beams are continuous across the columns with a 3m back span, and tie rods are cast into the slab at the back of the building to counterbalance the weight of the roof.

The clerestory windows are hung from the roof, and the walls are cantilevered from the base providing some horizontal restraint to the bottom of the clerestory glazing.

Diagonal timbers span between the flitch beams creating diamond panels in the roof which alternate between timber and glass. This diamond grid fits within the rectangular shaped roof leaving triangular shaped panels at the edges. 

The pavilion has been designed with just two central supporting columns, giving greater flexibility for access and automated sliding doors at the corners of the pavilion allow them to open fully and provide garden access to patients who aren't able to walk.

Completed 2019.

Project Information


Horatios Garden


3W Architects




3W Architects