Therapeutic architecture can be described as the people-centered, evidence-based discipline of the built environment, which aims to identify and support ways of incorporating those spatial elements that interact with people physiologically and psychologically into design. Architecture is an important factor in people's lives when they are well; when they experience ill-health and are less able to cope it becomes even more important.
This book explores the design of specialized residential architecture for people with mental health problems. It sets out to show how building design can support medical and health related procedures and practices, leading to better therapeutic outcomes and an enhanced quality of life. Based on almost two decades of research, it aims to understand how architectural design interacts with the therapeutic milieu, the care programs, and actually living in the spaces.
The book is divided into two main parts covering theory and research. Part one consists of three chapters: a brief introduction to old practices, current medical psychosocial and architectural thinking, and alternative thinking. Part two explores the research and conclusions derived from fieldwork.
This book provides a fascinating insight into the effect that architectural design can have on all of us, but particularly on those with mental health problems.
First, I would like to thank the people living in the mental health facilities that I visited who allowed me to intrude in their private space. Even more I would like to thank the staff and the service users who trusted me to conduct the interviews, even though there was always the risk of touching sensitive issues and causing disruption in the life of the wards, and having the focus and the patience to answer my questions. I would also like to thank the health authorities in several parts of Europe, and mostly in France and the UK that enabled me to access their facilities and provided me the information that I needed.
There are no words to express my gratitude to Professor Julienne Hanson and I would also like to thank the people that encouraged me in my first steps of working on mental health Professor Kyriaki Tsoukala, Professor Fani Vavyli, Professor Dimitris Kandylis, Professor Nick Bouras, Susan Francis and Professor Alan Penn, as well as those who encouraged me closer to the end, Professor Theodoros Konstandinides, Professor Lionis and Professor Gabbirel Ivbijaro. Special thanks to Dr Marios Hatzopoulos for his invaluable advice regarding this book. My special thanks to Professor Helias Mossialos and John Wells Thorp. I would like to express my gratitude to Alexander S Onassis Public benefit foundation for the active support.
Furthermore, I would like to express my thanks to my family, especially to my father, whose love and belief in me proved endless. Finally, I have to express my gratitude to Dimitris for the fact that he is always there with his warmth and love.
Finally, many thanks to Public Benefit Foundation Alexander S. Onassis for its contribution through granted scholarship for the conduction of this research, as well as for the publication of this book.
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