A soul is on the move : urban space pathway for mental restoration
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Citation:Kuzmenkova, M. (2017). A soul is on the move : urban space pathway for mental restoration. An unpublished A Research Project in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Master of Architecture Professional, Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/4471
This research explores the field of restorative functions of natural landscape and applicability of the knowledge in urban environment design strategies for mental health benefits and social wellbeing. The relationships between mental health treatment practices and architecture theories have a history of centuries. This connection between two scientific areas accumulated a significant foundation for modern psychology role in design. Today, psychology is an inevitable content of studies in urban design area. The interest is how exactly urban, rural or natural environmental features influence on mental statements. Is it possible to control this influence? Architectural and urban designers created a human-made habitat with being focused on physical qualities of architectural forms, while artificially created spaces produce strong effects on the individual’s mind. These effects differ from natural environment influence. Objects which intended to organize a movement, attract attention or emphasize the importance oversaturates urban views. As a result, people are running out of cities on weekends or holidays just to escape from too functional and intrusively guiding spaces. The apparent chaos in natural forms organization and unpredictable patterns variations are attractive to human eyes sometimes surprisingly more than precisely designed and proportionally balanced buildings. Pharmacology changed the whole system of treatment processes for mental health. The number of those who needs special conditions of detention has significantly decreased. However, to get a pill from a doctor just because you are going through a tough period in your life is easier than ever. Moreover, spa services are used for preventative treatment and filled with office workers who face enormous stress at work every day. The lack of preventative mental health care spaces and facilities determined the choice of the site. As a part of a speculative design project, old train station at Beach Road with adjoining vacant land would become a pedestrian link between the CBD and eastern suburban areas. Also, plans for Auckland Port relocation give a potential for the new residential district on current wharf territories. Location choice of the site between the main office spaces and existing and potential housing creates a buffer zone with restorative and transitional function. Auckland population is growing rapidly. This leads to such problems as coexistence and increased mental discomfort, increase in stress level because of life rhythm acceleration, traffic, mortgages, etc. The lack of attention to mental health problems on preventative level costs much to both governmental expenses and social health environment. This project study the possibilities to use elements of restorative influence in urban design life for better quality wellbeing.