Empowerment by architecture: Design of Auckland's rehabilitation unit
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Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/1836
The purpose of this study is to examine what elements of design architecture should provide to empower the patient in rehabilitative care. The project is a specialised building type, a multidisciplinary, rehabilitation unit which will be built in two stages. The unit will share the site of Manukau SuperClinic Great South Road, Manukau. Manukau District Health Board focuses on implementing new models of healthcare, under the umbrella of Towards 20/20, and have prepared two architectural draft briefs. This project has applied these briefs in two ways. First, to formulate an ethos for the Unit that relates to the patients’ needs. Second, the functional requirements contained in the briefs are based on the American rehabilitation model so they have been reconstrued to apply to the New Zealand paragon. To complete this emphasis was placed on the patients’ instrumental and psychological requirements so that their recovery occurs in an environment of safety and belonging. These objectives were realised by using case studies, both national and international, and supporting literature that gave an insight into historic and current trends in healthcare and health architecture. Using this information the project explored issues such as the solution to loss of control, privacy and contact together with factors such as movement and the nature-healing relationship to create an enabling environment. In the end, it was found that the solution includes not only the patients’ needs but also consideration of the patient’s visitors and human resources. The inclusion of these aspects results in architecture that is democratic while also meeting Vitruvius’ commodity firmness and delight. The resultant building is then a therapy in itself.