Common Grounds

What if we reconfigured the healthcare setting? The proposal developed as a renewal of the impatient and standardized healthcare centers which transformed patients into patterns, by creating a flexible scheme where interaction is one of the main tools for healing. The healing process is tailored around a series of connections (connections with own-self, connection with others, connection with the river and connection with nature), creating a symbiosis human-built environment-nature.

Social changes including inequality, poverty, abuse, and violence made young people (students) vulnerable to mental health problems, almost half of adolescences experiencing depression. Given the scarcity of healthcare resources in Burnley, the proposal will open to the public and aims to serve the local community, while being a hub for the region, offering training on mental health.  The users will benefit from: counselling, group therapy, workshops (handcraft for cognitive stimulation), emotional hot line (for people who cannot come on site) and gardening.

Developed as a philosophy of tectonics, the project explores patients’ cognitive response to natural materials. The “column” structures highlight a different healthcare environment, where the typical “desk and chair” setting is transformed into an informal space, the structure becoming an integrative part of the function. The glulam structures are connected through a series of green corridors blurring the boundaries between built space and nature. Furthermore, the “Common Grounds” developed as an expression of temporality and spatial dramaturgy through a series of thresholds placed inside the building and the use of light to contour the internal quality of the space. The proposal is designed for longevity and deconstruction, the structure consisting of a series of homogenous connections and mechanical fixing, being easily dismantled, and moved elsewhere.