ARCHITECTURE THAT MAKES US FEEL GOOD
Have you ever stopped to think how you feel when you step into an office or when you get home after a long day at work? Or when visiting a hospital? Many of our emotions are interconnected with spatial layouts, although we aren‘t always aware of it. Architecture plays a fundamental role in this aspect.
In this article, we are going to talk about architecture that makes us feel good. Will you join us?
Architecture and health
The first thing we must ask ourselves is if it is possible for architecture and decoration to have an influence on our personal well-being. The answer is more than evident: yes. More than five thousand years ago, Taoists explained in their Feng-Shui doctrine that aesthetics and placement of objects, as well as spatial layout, are directly related to the flow of energy that surrounds us. And this, of course, affects us on a daily basis.
«Designing buildings means taking an ethical position with respect to people who are going to occupy them. Creating architecture for people means taking many factors into account, such as using light, design and acoustics in best way», explains Spanish architect Luis Vidal –pioneer in healing architecture– in statements collected from Portafolio.
On the other hand, the World Health Organization explains that «whether people are healthy or not is determined by their circumstances and environment. To a large extent, factors like the place where we live, the state of our environment, genetics, our income, level of education and relationships with our friends and family all have a considerable impact on our health».
A practical case: a hospital
Let‘s use a hospital environment as an example. We often find hospitals designed in a purely functional way. However, the patients in these buildings require something more than just treatment. They need to be listened to, to stay calm in stressful situations, to be comfortable, etc. The architecture of hospitals can alleviate pain.
Built almost a hundred years ago,Paimio Sanatoriumnear Helsinki (Finland) represents this idea. It was created by Alvar Aalto, who revolutionized modern architecture by adding humanity. Despite its age, it is a perfect example of a building that covers the needs of the ill; from its yellow stairway –providing a sense of hope– to the low railing on the rooftop so tuberculosis patients could sunbathe or enjoy the views of the surrounding birch tree forest. Today‘s regulations, for example, do not allow this.
Slow architecture and wellbeing in homes
Six factors influence wellbeing in homes: physical space, psychosocial, thermal, acoustic, lighting, safety and maintenance, as explained in the study Wellbeing in Homes. Design Guide for Sustainable Living, published by the Department of Architecture and Urban Planning and the Housing Institute of the University of Chile, the Technical University Federico Santa Maria and Fundacion Chile.
To achieve wellbeing in homes, certain disciplines are necessary, such as slow architecture, which seeks to slow down the fast-pace lifestyle of our society. This is achieved by creating open spaces and taking maximum advantage of construction materials and energy consumption. Natural ventilation, open structures for light to enter and natural insulation are essential for architecture to provide wellbeing.
At AYMA we undertake all areas of construction: from industrial buildings to ports to housing developments. And not only projects. We also take care of licenses, permits, expert witness and other reports.