Processes of promotion of well-being as a generator of built environments: the design of a community healthcare facility for Durban.
Mngoma, Talente Khayelihle.
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Health, in whatever form remains a worldwide issue just short of being declared a global pandemic. Current urban architectural environments in modern day lifestyle contribute immensely to ill-health and negative well-being of humans. This dissertation investigates the shortcomings of architectural environments, how they can be improved to promote good health and well-being and how this practice results in a positive domino effect to other fields such as social and economic discourses. The research explores the improvement of healthcare facilities through the primary concept of biophilic design; the incorporation of nature in built form, to promote healthy and living environments thus in-turn re-identifying an appropriate typology as a tool for the promotion of well-being. This concept is supported by the Genius Loci theory and the Critical Regionalism theory of place and placelessness with particular reference to the South African context. Research methodology focused on a qualitative study to meet the aims and objectives of the dissertation by addressing key and relevant questions. The answers and findings would be extracted from literature, case and precedent studies and posed to specific groups and individuals relevant to the health and built environment sectors including the users. The literature review and theoretical framework form the basis criteria used in which the case and precedent study were assessed and analysed; the findings were such that the biophilia hypothesis is a viable concept which has been employed successfully among a few projects. Persons interviewed also displayed a fondness towards nature and a belief in its healing properties. Essentially, the research document suggests a multi-faceted architecture which considers broader aspects of well-being such as alternative treatment, community and social involvement, financial liberty and environmentally conscious.
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