Therapeutic architecture involves developing spaces while considering people’s physiology and perception. It is mainly concerned with the psychological connections of the patients with their surroundings (Frisone, C., 2021, 23). It enables natural daylight and self-movement, supporting physical, mental health and spiritual well-being. The architecture must create emotions and images in the users’ minds that are true to their encounters. In most cases, society and culture are crucial driving forces that contribute to the architectural patterns across the world involving genres, cultures, and social diversity to effectively express continuously changing feelings, thoughts, and ideas. Architectural designs such as Paimio Sanatorium, Maggies Caring Centre, and Euphoria Spa Retreat are unique architectural designs that satisfy physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being, respectively. Therefore, the paper is set to discuss therapeutic architecture by focusing on physical well-being, spiritual well-being, and emotional well-being themes relative to Paimio Sanatorium, Maggies Caring Centre, and Euphoria Spa Retreat as key therapeutic architectural designs.
Paimio Sanatorium was designed and developed in the 1930s, and it appreciate the need for good ambition and design to create healing surroundings that directly emulate nature. The facility impresses visitors and patients who aces its interior. The facility is situated in a pine tree plantation, fitting an isolation for the building. The high-quality design of the building can contribute to and improve the outcomes and experiences of the patients. The building contains multiple design elements that are key in a typical healthcare facility. The features include accessibility to natural light and substantial incorporation of natural light (Anderson, D., 2010, 1). The surroundings of the building are an imitation of nature, in turn developing a healing surrounding. Alto designed the architectural facility while having the tuberculosis patients in mind, derived from his inspiration. Tuberculosis patients are often required to stay inside the health facilities longer while exposed to open air. Aalto designed the facility’s sanatorium in a way that when patients are there, they will be able to access open air as a routine process.
The roof terraces are large enough to have a comprehensive view of the forest, enabling the patients to rest on their beds as a daily routine while they have access to fresh air. He also had elaborate plans that involved the development of winding paths on the hospital grounds that allowed for incorporating water features. The features allowed the patients to take walks in the building while recovering. The sun balcony that was included at the individual patient floors had an orientation southward, enabling the bedridden patients to have accessibility to natural light that would enhance their health (Anderson, D., 2010, 2). The patient rooms were specifically planned to accommodate two patients while considering the need for reclining patients as the basic inspiration. The architect believed that peaceful surrounding was a prerequisite of the entire healing process, making him focus on developing quiet and comfortable rooms. The architect wanted the individual patients to have their wash basins, producing tilted faucets that prevented splashing and noise. The rooms were designed to have access to the full morning light, and the artificial lamps made use of the indirect light coming from the back of the head of the patient to reduce glare.
Mental and Emotional Well-Being
Maggie’s Caring Center was established in 1996 by Charles Jencks and Maggie in Edinburgh. Maggie’s Caring Center was based on the belief that architecture is crucial in the enhancement of the emotional and mental well-being of people. The facility has, over time, been a center of attention due to its capacity to engender therapeutic effects and psychological flexibility in caregivers and people living with cancer. The architecture is conventional and has an emotional and concise synergy brief coupled with psychosocial support that is psychosocial. The center is located on the hospital grounds while maintaining its unique identity with inspiring architectural pieces.
The architectural design of the building, with its professional support, generates a flexible and open state in the visitor’s mind. The visitors often develop a safety, control, and calm feeling that gives them better well-being. The average area is always about 300 square meters and is relative to the cancer population reference area of the hospital facilities. The entrance is welcoming and obvious with places for the patient to leave their brolly. There are no reception desks near the entrance, but sofas and armchairs are colored and positioned in bright halls adjacent to the kitchen. The absence of cabinet and door labeling and staff badges creates an ordinary atmosphere for the patients. The inside surrounding does not have hospital corridors contributing to the spatial interaction, enabling the patients to understand room arrangements immediately.
The facility has a library area that contains books on fiction, poetry, art, and cancer, allowing visitors to isolate themselves to be in sonar contact with the entire center. The facility’s doors are designed to rotate and slide and are relatively large, allowing people to forget about their closure while not worrying about their privacy. It is noted that the hospital surroundings impact the healing of patients undergoing surgery. Patients in rooms with windows that overlook nature are often discharged earlier than those in rooms with blind windows (Frisone, 2021, 20). It is believed that the idea of having skylights and big windows began with Florence Nightingale in the 1860s when she devoted herself to human care. The visitors entering the building are the primary recipients of the building. The centers contain pleasant surroundings with thoughtful lighting and a big window that allows people to have an outside view of the sky, birds, and trees. The consultation rooms are divided into small and large rooms, with the smaller one used for one-to-one counseling and the others for small group conversations. The rooms have windows that have exposure to the outside sky and nature.
The Euphoria Spa Retreat is a unique wellness center with suites and rooms evoking the Ancient Greek temples and roofs that are terracotta that glare the blue sky of Greece and its environs that involve a pine forest. The facility has architectural inspiration from Chinese and Greek, aiming for a harmonious structure that aligns with nature (Euphoria Retreat, 2023, 1). The facility has about 45 luxury rooms with other dining and quality rooms that effectively complement the excellent services offered to customers. The facility is also divided into three buildings drawing inspiration from Byzantine architecture. The rooms are relatively big, and the bed is huge (Joannas’ review, 2023). The mattress has two double beds that are pushed together with luxurious bedding. The rooms appear simple, though they portray earth stone’s elegance. The beams above are dark-woodened, and the floors are light wooden, allowing the lighting contained in the facility to align with each other, offering peace of mind to anyone within its confines. The wooden coloring presents earth and warm colors that give neutral themes, creating a Zen atmosphere that infuses completely with Mount Taygettu’s spectacular views (Thomas, 2019, 2).
The rooms have night tables with controlled lamps to offer customized lighting for the entire room. Adjacent to the huge bed is a counter with a desk, a tea kettle, and a coffee maker with a relatively small bar. The other furniture in the room involves a rack, a large wardrobe, and a full-sized sofa. The room also contains multiple sockets to offer the visitors sufficient time when in need of power (Heller, 2023, 2). The bathroom visitors use is elegant, simple, and defined with the squared tiles, marble-made sink, and pain bath. The water pressure in the bathroom is excellent, offering the visitors relaxing and thrilling experiences while meditating in the showers. It allows them to have detailed but spiritual thoughts about everything they are going through. Moreover, it has a balcony that is private-based, facing towards the forested land of the piece of land on which the facility is located. The forest contains citrus orchards and olive groves that offer fresh, acrid air to the visitors. In a near distance, when observed from the balcony, there is a scenic Parnon Mountain range that offers a splendid view that can allow one to imagine oneself as a spiritual being.
It is a leading destination spa that connects individuals with nature’s healing power. The facility can satisfy the spiritual needs and the fitness needs of people. The facility’s surrounding contains archaeological wonders that make it a good surrounding for outdoor activities that offer adventure for anyone visiting it. The Spa section of the facility has beautiful and extensive scenery. The facility mirrors the transformative water well that involves the representation of the earth, meal in its descending order, wood in the staircase climbing, water in the pool beneath the facility, and fire usually visualized in stars and sun. The facility floors are designed so that the rooms containing physical activities are positioned at the lower levels and the other less engaging activities upwards. The acupuncture treatment and fitness rooms are on the lower levels, and the rooms are on the upper floors of the buildings (Heller, 2023, 3).
Anderson, D., 2010. Humanizing the hospital: design lessons from a Finnish sanatorium. CMAJ, 182(11), pp.E535-E537
Frisone, C., 2021. The Architecture of Care: The Role of Architecture in the Therapeutic Environment: the Case of the Maggie’s Cancer Care Centre (Doctoral dissertation, Oxford Brookes University).
Heller, R. (2023) Euphoria retreat wellness resort destination spa review, Rachel’s Ruminations. Available at: https://rachelsruminations.com/euphoria-retreat-wellness-resort-destination-spa-review/ (Accessed: 10 November 2023).
Joannas’ review (2023) Joanna’s review of Euphoria Retreat, Greece. Available at: https://www.healthandfitnesstravel.com/blog/joannas-review-of-euphoria-retreat-greece
Thomas, K. 2019. Review: Euphoria Retreat. A new spa retreat in the foothills of Greece’s Taygetos Mountains blends Hellenic and Chinese healing philosophies to transform mind, body and soul. Available at: https://www.sleepermagazine.com/stories/editorial/review-euphoria-retreat/