Water walls, Pounamu fountains, landscaped water trials and a Taonga reflection pond have transformed Island Bay's Home of Compassion entrance way

Posted June 7, 2019

The landscape brief was that the water garden "breathe heart and soul" into the  Home of Compassion's entranceway grounds,  in honour of Mother Mary Joseph Aubert's (formerly known as Suzanne Aubert)  and The Sisters of Compassion's incredible work, caring for Wellington's urban poor from 1900 to Mother Mary's passing in 1926.

Pounamu fountains and cloistered waterways leading to a Taonga -mudstone reflection pond, engraved Oamaru stone verse blocks and pathways all contribute to the desired ambience of peace and tranquillity, The Sisters of Compassion understood to be critical to an individual's healing and wellbeing journey. 

The gifted taonga mudstone centerpiece in the reflection pond, given and blessed from the people of Hiruharama, Ngati Hau, symbolises and unites the relationship between The Sisters of Compassion's earlier work with Ngati Hau people and the Sisters of Compassion's tireless work in Wellington. 

Mother Mary Joseph Aubert and the three Sisters of Compassion cared for Wellington's forgotten ones. The Sister's opened the first soup kitchen in Buckle Street and the first children’s creche for working widows and single mothers. A small donation of milk is all the Sister's asked for as payment for the children's care in this special creche. The Sisters of Compassion also set up a hospital for the "incurables" ,  a sanctuary for the Wellingtonian people who had nowhere else to go in their dire time of need.  

The Home of Compassion today is a purpose-built health centre in Island Bay and the sacred resting place of Mother Mary Joseph Aubert. The new water garden designed by Studio Pacific Architects, building works by LT McGuiness and specialist water services by Coombes Aquatics Limited's was designed to celebrate and honour The Sisters of Compassion's 125 years of tireless work, making a difference to the lives of many Wellingtonian's in their time of need. 

The water garden was officially opened on 14 October 2017 to honour The Sisters of Compassion's legacy.    

"Let us never lose courage on our journey" ,  is aptly engraved into the pathway beside the sacred pounamu water fountain, that begins the gardens water trail from the sacred fountain through the open cloistered waterways and under the beautifully etched stainless steel grating,  up the inscribed central water wall and down the other side,  to join another open circular water trail that quietly leads to the offset sacred taonga reflection pond,  symbolising the importance of reflection in all of life's  journeys.   

Water is known to enhances the experience of any space, reduces stress and have an uplifting effect on general wellbeing,  if you would like to add a restful or interactive water space to your church, development , school,  hospital, commercial building, community space or garden,  our team would be delighted to work with you on your new wellbeing water space.

Please refer to our gallery space for more photographs of The Sisters of Compassion, Island Bay, Wellington's 125th Anniversary Water Garden.   

It was a privilege to work on this special water project.