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
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
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