Escaping the Asylum: Reimagining the Architecture of Psychiatric Care

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Creator: 

Woodruff, David Jonathan

Date: 

2020

Abstract: 

While most individuals with mental illness currently receive treatment in the community, dedicated psychiatric care facilities are critical spaces for those in crisis. Yet their low tolerance for risk mandates that architecture must anticipate and mitigate instances of patient violence, self-harm, and escape. However, by designing for the most at-risk patient, the architect presumes the same likelihood of risk for all patients, often leading to reductive and uninspired spaces. In psychiatric care, the architectural environment can enhance or undermine patient wellness, staff interactions, and even public perception. To contribute to redefining the mandate of architecture in this context, this thesis proposes a catalogue of architectural details that seek to prioritize patient well-being and facilitate therapeutic interactions while remaining safe and appropriate for those in psychiatric crisis. These details are then situated within proposed renovations of Psychiatric Emergency Services (PES) at The Ottawa Hospital.

Subject: 

Architecture

Language: 

English

Publisher: 

Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Architecture: 
M.Arch.

Thesis Degree Level: 

Master's

Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Architecture

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

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