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nicola hardie


architecture that heals: a tuberculosis treatment facility, fish hoek, cape town

In light of Covid-19, the concern for health and healing in design could not be more relevant. While the health sector has channelled its energy to reducing the effects of this pandemic, the focus on containing the spread of Tuberculosis (TB), a disease impacting the lives and livelihoods of most of our population, has been largely overlooked.
Architecture affects our daily lives as well as our physical and mental health. If architecture and the built environment have the capacity to affect one’s well-being, then it follows that these spaces can be created in such a way that facilitates the healing process.

This dissertation explores the relationship between architecture, health and well-being through the design of a TB treatment facility, using nature, sunlight, and ventilation as healing devices. It is situated in Fish Hoek, on the South Peninsula of Cape Town, where research has highlighted a significant lack of access to this type of medical treatment. Extensive analysis of existing TB facilities in the Western Cape revealed gaps in the healthcare system, which has yet to develop a layout that adequately combats the spread of infection in addition to making for a pleasant healing experience.

The design scheme responds to these conditions by placing the comfort and healing of its occupants at the forefront of its functioning.

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