Intergenerational healing : redefining the healthcare environment
Kadwell, Michael Edward
View fulltext online
Citation:Kadwell, M. E. (2019). Intergenerational healing : redefining the healthcare environment. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture (Professional)). Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10652/4789
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/4789
RESEARCH QUESTION: How can the architecture of an intergenerational healthcare centre encourage healing through social engagement of its inhabitants and the integration of the natural environment? ABSTRACT: Hospitals are known as places of healing, and they hold a symbolic meaning of health; however, they do not always evoke the idea of well-being. The difference between being healthy and being happy is an issue that hospitals are struggling to define and address. Social interaction and the integration of the natural environment within a healthcare context are two key factors, which are often overlooked, that need to be addressed. These factors, when correctly implemented, have the potential to play a vital role in creating places of healing. There is substantial research to show that social interaction and maintaining a connection with the natural environment aids the healing process. Still many hospitals and healthcare centres lack any connection to the natural environment. Instead, being placed amongst urban cityscapes, having poor integration or limited access to the natural environment. More importantly, there are concerns surrounding New Zealand’s ageing population and the tradition of segregating children and the elderly. Widening the gap between generations can often lead to social prejudices and stereotyping between age groups. The elderly can become disconnected from society after retirement, often experiencing feelings of loneliness and social isolation. This project aims to explore how the architectural design of a healthcare centre can be integrated with an intergenerational programme. To achieve this, the project proposes to introduce an intergenerational healthcare centre. The primary focus of which being the integration of social spaces, inviting staff, visitors and patients to engage and interact with one another. The centre amalgamates aged care and childcare within one facility in an attempt to break down the barriers between generations, and counter the development of prejudice and social isolation in the elderly. With leading technologies in today’s societies and the knowledge of how to utilise passive design, it now becomes the role of the architect to address the social issues that have emerged within healthcare centres, and to integrate the natural environment within the design. Interactive bump spaces are at the core of the design, connecting the different programmes along the central circulation ‘social street’. The objective is to positively impact the well-being of the inhabitants, creating an environment that fosters physical and psychological well-being, while cultivating a platform for learning. The presence of the natural environment is important, and the integration of therapeutic landscapes has been used as a tool to enhance the inhabitants’ health. In particular, the incorporation of biophilic design principles has enabled the project to connect with nature, integrating both architecture and landscape.