Biophilic Design: Transitional Housing for Homeless Veterans
Rossi, Maria Alejandra
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Biophilia: the close relationship between architecture and nature. In my thesis, I look to embrace that relationship by designing housing for homeless veterans. For veterans, this connection helps the space become a place of healing and reconnection to nature, which is proven to have a positive impact in our health and wellness. The building becomes a container of nature, where the presence of green features and natural elements are present from the moment you come into the building, the choice of materials, the different activities and position of the spaces to welcome the most amount of natural elements into the building. This creates an indoor/outdoor environment where the resident feels secure by the walls but also welcome by nature. The building captures nature through different activities and moments, where both nature and architecture work together to create a space of healing and peace, a place of freedom, but at the same time a place of security and stability. An oasis in the city, which helps homeless veterans start over and create a space they can call home. The building is equipped to offer different activities and purposes not only for the residents, but also for the employees and visitors. The building becomes a welcoming space for the neighbors but also for nature. The building welcomes different species and promotes the creation of different habitats that can serve the growth of the ecosystem.
General Audience Abstract
How can Architecture and Nature work together to create healing spaces? The purpose of this thesis was to study the relationship between nature and architecture. Today, rapid growth in cities and urbanization has cause these two to be seen as separate or different, creating spaces that do not promote human well-being and healthy spaces. When in fact, when both nature and architecture work together, it creates the best and healthiest spaces for human health, performance and well-being. In this project, I focused on creating healing spaces for homeless veterans; a group that is increasing in number in large cities such as Washington D.C. Veterans are falling into homelessness due to Post-traumatic stress disorder, making it hard for them to adapt back into their normal life. Many of them live in poor conditions on the street, shelters and cars; spaces that are not suitable for people living with this disorder. Instead, I am proposing a transitional housing project where they will be trained, offered job opportunities, and a space where they will in constant presence of nature from the moment they walk into the building until they get to their room. This is because biophilic design has proven to improve the perfomance, quality of life, and health of humans. The residents of this project will have an efficient building with communal spaces, spaces for active and passive recreation, and different connections to nature to improve and expedite their healing.
- Masters Theses