Designing for Wellness. A Healing Center for Social Anxiety
PublisherΠανεπιστήμιο Κύπρου, Πολυτεχνική Σχολή / University of Cyprus, Faculty of Engineering
Place of publicationCyprus
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The last few years, daily life has changed profoundly, due to the Covid pandemic. The everyday pace has been adjusted to new and slower “Covid“ rhythms. The “pandemic circumstances” forced changes to every life sector. One of the most significant changes to architecture is the “stay at home” phenomenon, where a “house” is no longer a “home”. All the inhabitants of a “house” (family, roommates) have had combine all their usual habits with new ones like working from home, self or group isolation, taking care of an ill relative and the constant or none social contact among them. Moreover, the considerable degree of fear, concern and sense of loneliness or augmented social exposure has affected the mental health of many on global levels. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the global prevalence of anxiety and depression increased by 25%. The purpose of the following thesis is to investigate and apply (on a conceptual, spatial design) how architecture can provide relief and faster recover to people who suffer from anxiety disorder. Architecture, solely, is impossible to heal a mental health issue or disorder. However, researches (throughout time) have shown that architectural spaces directly affect human emotions. Everything, from the layout of the space, the materiality, to the light and color can contribute towards occupant’s health, mood and productivity. Accordingly, the following analysis and architectural representation will be focusing on a neighborhood scale community – healing and recovery center for social anxiety. In order to translate a “stay at home” environment to the community the architectural layout will allow the sense of cohabitation with levels of privacy and publicness and sensory design base on natural elements (textures and lights) views and circulation. The Global Pandemic gave no choice, to many, for their social interactions pushing them to rearrange their personal boundaries and habits. In contrast, the concept of the center’s design the inhabitants have the choice for the social exposure in combination with their healing and architectural strategies.