Urban Refuge - DESIGN FOR DECREASING URBAN STRESS IN A DENSE ENVIRONMENT
Examensarbete för masterexamen
Architecture and urban design (MPARC), MSc
In today’s society where we are always on the move or in the middle of an activity and spend more and more time in urban environments with its noise, high density and cognitive and visual stimuli are environments for recovery important. Stress and mental illness have increased and is a topical issue today. Among these are Urban stress, the stress we feel because of the urban environment, where we are in close quarters with lots of people to whom we compare ourselves but don’t feel a sense of community with. People need places where they can feel connected to each other and get a relive from the city buzz. Which leads to the question: How can we design public buildings that helps to decrease urban stress? This thesis explores the relationship between the build environment and mental well-being. There are lots of studies that show the positive effects nature has on our wellbeing and how being in nature has a calming effect on us. Through literature research with a focus on mental well-being, public places and Biophilic design translated into atmospheres inspired by nature this thesis investigates how we can design with wellbeing in focus. The knowledge foundation created by research emanates in an Evidence-based design proposal. The research is interpreted into design concepts that are implemented in a design proposal for a visitor centre as a refuge. It’s located on an extended quay in-between the old town and a new development in Varberg on the west coast of Sweden. The design process combines literature investigations with mainly sketching, model making, site analysis and material tests focusing on the benefits for stress relive.. Key feature of the design is working with spaces for different types of being, a strong connection to the location, layers from most public to more private and design features that has a positive impact on mental well-being.
Architecture, Atmospheres, Well-being, Urban stress, Community, Biophilic design, Evidence Based Design