A Place for Healing: Architecture as Intermediary Between Nature and the Healing Child
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This thesis investigates the difficult reality of children faced with illness, necessitating prolonged hospitalization. It takes a critical position with regard to the current approach to health care in Canada within the institution of the hospital. Through an exploration of environmental and experiential factors of proven importance to the child’s healing process, this thesis seeks to understand the role of architecture in healing. It does not presume that architecture alone has the power to heal, nor does it propose a tabula rasa approach; instead it seeks to explore the possibility of offering a complement to the current health care system, through the exploration of the potential positive physical and psychological impact of place in the healing process. Using Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada and the IWK Children’s Hospital as a context for investigation, this thesis explores the design of a satellite healthcare building situated in Point Pleasant Park (Halifax), where uninterrupted medical treatment is to be offered, supported by a home-like setting and constant contact with nature.