Date of Submission

Spring 5-9-2023

Degree Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Architecture

Department

Architecture

Primary Advisor

Dr. Selen Okcu

Abstract

According to the American Cancer Society, the rate of childhood cancer is increasing, and about 10,470 children will have been diagnosed with cancer in 2022. Patients who respond best to treatment and recover faster are those who feel most comfortable in their environment. This success is a result of a mental and emotional response to the natural and built environment. How can an environment that is full of stress, anxiety, sickness, and sorrow allow any patient to feel comfortable? Hospitals are typically understood as environments where these intense negative occurrences happen and become places of low morale and mental health. The following research is important because architecture has the power to heal a patient emotionally and physically by creating a successful healing space. In the United States, most children’s cancer hospitals create environments that distract patients from their conditions by creating colorful and visually appealing spaces geared toward entertaining the inhabitants. While children benefit from a constructed wonderland environment, this only scratches the surface of designing a therapeutic environment. When a child is admitted to a hospital there are three things they know: they are sick, away from home, and have no control over their procedures or surroundings. The unfamiliar space may be colorful and designed to be inviting, but only serves to distract children from their illnesses. If children could have a space to be more actively involved in what they experience in a hospital, there may be a way to make their stay and recovery more enjoyable. Children see the built environment in unique ways and respond more intently than an adult would as a result of their extensive imaginations. In this thesis, I will address the problem of remedy spaces by designing a retreat for patients receiving treatment that provides a healing environment where they can regain control of their lives through interactive spatial design, connection with nature, and social support. My research methodology will be an experimental process where I study the organizations of spaces that can become retreat spaces and how they can be a nature filled yet modifiable space for children through the use of moving partitions, flexible use space, and socially connecting spaces.

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