Behind the Comprehensive Care Center lies a serene sanctuary. A simple deck forms a wide vista, flanked by palms and ferns of all tropical varieties, providing a green screen from the world outside—it’s steps away from the Orioles stadium but seemingly in a different dimension. Landscape architect Robert Davie designed the garden with the center’s ethos in mind. The home of the Sarasota chapter of the Community AIDS Network (CAN), the center provides a haven for people with life-threatening illnesses. “I saw this outdoor space as a place where employees could come eat lunch, or patients could be with their families or receive counseling or a place for forums or parties or speakers,” says Davie.

Minimalist modern slate grey wood-look and white piped tables and benches made by Davie sprinkle the circumference of the deck, easily moved and clustered, catering to a quick outdoor bite or a group game of cards. The centerpiece of the area, however, is found in the three lipstick-red steel panels on the north side of the garden. “The color is the same red from the AIDS ribbon and the AIDS Network—it’s the official color for the Community AIDS Network,” says Davie. “We matched it exactly. They really pop.” Dainty tropic fronds and ferns have been etched onto the steel easels by way of laser cutting, the forest-green leaves of the plants looming behind them peeking through the open cuts—the metal fronds seemingly drift side to side as the breeze blows through the background foliage. “I wanted something that was truly botanical looking, that was evocative of gardens,” says Davie.

A panorama of desirable views, the placid pavilion finds an innate balance between man-made structure and the natural world—the light grey beige of the deck channeling tree bark, garden ferns popping up unchecked and lively, banana palms hiding the houses constructed on the opposite side of the fence. The LED lighting subtly placed atop trees and below steel create a halcyon glow as the sun sets, the bulbs set to 6000 Kelvin, neutralizing the yellow hue and shining a blue-silver stream over the garden, mimicking the light emitted naturally from the moon and stars. “The concept was to integrate a usable space into nature and make it look like it belonged and was always part of nature,” says Davie. “I didn’t want to squeeze a round peg into a square hole. This is more natural and more peaceful.”