Architectural Mediation: A Community Anxiety Center in Alexandria, VA
Walker, Madelyn Grace
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Anxiety Disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States. While nearly 18% of Americans will experience an anxiety disorder within any given year, only one-third of those will receive treatment. Current mental health treatment facilities must navigate opposing needs for both awareness and access as well as privacy and respite. This thesis explores the ability of architecture to influence emotion and mediate between opposites through the design of a community anxiety treatment center in the heart of Old Town Alexandria, VA. The building combines community services, outpatient treatment, and in-patient treatment under one roof. Rather than a treatment facility that is removed from the city, the center is placed within an urban community, creating increased awareness and access to treatment as well as an expanded care journey through community connectivity. The building itself mediates between urban and therapeutic space, sequentially removing patients from urban stimuli as they move through increasing levels of treatment. As patients recover and begin to return to the city itself, the building gradually reintroduces them to the urban environment. Post-treatment, the location in Alexandria, VA allows patients to continue recovery through community support groups and activities.
- Masters Theses