TOPAZ Issue 1 / 2001
An insight into Stress
Garden of Remedy and Easement
New Science Eyes
Hildegard von Bingen
Pioneering youth project
Film Review: The Unbreakable
Sustainable Development

Garden of Remedy and Easement

A Pioneering Ecology Design.

door Job van Splunter

There are certain truths that can be come to from continuous study of the natural laws, such as the understanding that everything we see begins its life in the unseen energy worlds and later manifests in the seen worlds; and further that there can be no movement of energy without the accompaniment of matter. This has been for me a starting point for many fascinating researches. The awareness of these natural laws is of great importance to the artist, the architect, the painter or anyone who is involved in design or decoration. From some simple concepts like these a great deal can be achieved in the field of design. Time after time ‘in the field’ experience shows that a consistent practical translation of simple concepts forms the basis of effective architecture.

The Garden of Remedy and Easement

A recent project I have been working on is to design a Garden of Remedy and Easement at the request of the Peace Flame Foundation ’94, with the intention of applying similar designs at various centres for trauma treatment in Bosnia. There are many understandings and concepts within the design that could easily be applied in many other fields. We are all to some degree "traumatised" by the world that we grow up in.

One way of viewing trauma is to see it as an extreme form of an unbalanced energy flow through the natural five-fold energy systems of our body and that the recovery of a patient could therefore be helped by exposure to the natural order of this five-fold system. This is the basic technology by which the garden works.

The idea is simple and yet far-reaching in its implications, using the healing influences of landscape, colour and shape. The garden consists of three parts; an outer ring with evergreens, a middle ring with mainly yellow flowers and a central ring with blue pagodas situated above a pond. These three areas are designed to connect people to three levels in themselves, which can be described as the custodial or refining life, the maintenance life and the expendable life. As a person enters the garden they journey through the natural order of the five-fold energy system; green, yellow and blue, with effect in the red and white.
When I explained the colours and the technology to the representatives and officials in Tuzla (Bosnia) they soon understood the principle of colour as influence as an example, the blue helmets and berets of the United Nations with their surveying and calming function during and after the war were still close in their memory.

Although simple in its principles, there are many interesting effects and applications to be described and explained which would need more space than we have here. However I will make mention of just one of these technologies involving the pathways through the garden. These are specifically designed to relate to the pathways of our thinking, so that as a person pauses to consider in which direction to proceed it stimulates the feature of choices we make in our thinking process.

Every feature of the Garden of Easement and Remedy is specifically designed to cause healing and balancing atmospheres within it. Each area will develop its own influence and atmosphere as people use it.

Developing the Garden

The people who have commissioned the garden are very enthusiastic about the design and the ideas behind it. We are still navigating through the bureaucracy in Bosnia-Herzegovina but we are encouraged and first steps have been taken.

Meanwhile I am investigating other opportunities to apply this design both in Europe and the Middle East with keen interest.

Job van Splunter has been an architect for 20 years, living and working in the Netherlands. He has specialised in a combination of design and esoteric studies.

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