The project I am designing for senior year is a comprehensive center for the prevention, evaluation, and treatment of abused children and youth. The center is a one stop shop for all the agencies that aid in the process of dealing with child abuse. The services provided include law enforcement, mental health services, medical services, child protective services, parenting classes, preventative services, counseling and therapy, social work, training practitioners, and child protective services. By co-locating all these agencies, it will ultimately create a less traumatic experience for the victims instead of them travelling from one building to the next throughout the city.
The concept of this design is based on freedom. Children who have been abused need to be set free. They are often held captive by their traumatic memories and the ongoing effects of guilt, shame, and mistrust. Prevention, education, and treatment efforts provide a path to freedom; however, that path is also lined with places, people, and experiences that can be strange and intimidating to children. Their journey to freedom can be facilitated through design elements in a comprehensive center for the prevention and treatment of child abuse. These elements include flexibility, safety, privacy, ease of navigation, and control. Flexibility provides a sense of freedom for the occupants of the building through the design of the interior spaces. Children of different ages can be accommodated by providing interesting spaces of different sizes. Freedom is also experienced in design by creating a sense of safety for the patients. Feelings of safety are promoted by creating small, enclosed spaces for children. Access to corners and walls can give children a sense of protection. Privacy as a design element advances freedom through enhancing children’s feelings of safety and control. This can be accomplished through the design of unclaimed areas and peripheral spaces. Freedom is translated throughout the design by easy and helpful navigation. Color and lighting can be used to enhance wayfinding and highlight important spaces in the facility. Incorporating the elements of flexibility, safety, privacy, ease of navigation, and control into the design of a comprehensive center will expedite the journey to freedom for children who have been abused.
|Inspirational Image: Letting Go|
|Inspirational Image: No Constraints, Liberation|
|Inspirational Image: New Paths|
|Inspirational Image: Redemption, Restoration|