H2O: Redefining cancer healthcare environments using water in both abstract and physical form
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Citation:Hussain, A. (2021). H2O: Redefining cancer healthcare environments using water in both abstract and physical form. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture (Professional)). Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand. https://hdl.handle.net/10652/5756
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/5756
RESEARCH QUESTION How can the element of water assist in creating a stimulating and therapeutic environment that increases the health and well-being for cancer patients? ABSTRACT Cancer is a disease that extracts the liveliness out of patients, leaving them practically lifeless. This potent and prolonged disease physically and mentally bears upon sufferers. New Zealand’s cancer rate is increasingly growing and although we are flourishing with the number of services available in certain regions of the country, it is the architecture of how these services are delivered that makes the impact. The evolution of healthcare architecture in New Zealand has started developing by adapting to the emerging trend of biophilia. This has been also exemplified globally, however, the depth and importance of well-being in healthcare settings are deficient. Healthcare services struggle to reach a state of equilibrium between physically keeping a patient healthy and mentally keeping a patient healthy. Due to the persistent nature of cancer, patients are obligated to accept living their life in another way causing unfamiliarity, which can be intimidating and discouraging. The architecture of these environments becomes crucial to avert demoralising patients. Creating abundant positivity is critical, if patients are already in a negative mind state and surrounded by negativity in the environment, the patient’s health and well-being deteriorate. This research project aims to create a stimulating and therapeutic environment increasing the health and well-being of patients using water in architecture. Water is an element that is valuable in biophilic design but is neglected in healthcare architecture. The design constraint this project posed was to completely contain the water in the architecture from the immunocompromised. The project incorporates the notion of water in both physical and abstract forms to create a positive and uplifting environment. Water is closely connected to humans and emits positive benefits in increasing one’s health and well-being. This is supported by literature to prove the positive benefits along with literature and precedents supporting the inclusion of nature in healthcare buildings. The element of water was de-constructed using the properties water emits to inform design decisions. The project intends to produce a cancer centre in the Whangarei hospital complex, as it poses realistic needs for this service with the objective of focusing on patients’ health and well-being through the assistance of water and nature.