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several participants in the study by Wood et al reported that the acoustics of these areas produced considerable ambient noise, which made visiting difficult.73

On the other hand, the enclosed garden created for the

new hospital created a comfortable area for patient recreation and for entertaining visitors. The domestic style of the garden made it a nice place to be in and to have normal, everyday conversations with visitors. By way of comparison, the gardens of the old hospital were described as ‘oppressive’ and resembling ‘a prison yard’.74 These examples suggest that patients, their visitors and carers have access to several different areas within the hospital and, that gardens and grounds can play an important role during treatment for psychiatric illness. Comparison between the old and the new hospital by Wood et al also found that spaces that offered opportunities for social

73 Wood, V.J., Curtis, S.,

gatherings were of upmost important as was a domestic environ-

Gesler, W., Spencer, I.H.,

ment. In regards to this example, the facilities of the old hospital

Close, H.J., Mason, J, & Reilly,

were found to be superior, offering a recreational hall where all pa-

G., (2015). The impact of the

tients could gather on an evening and take part in activities organ-

design of the psychiatric in-

ised by volunteers such as table tennis and pool. However, the new

patient facility on perceptions

hospital did not provide similar facilities. This indicates that psychi-

of carer wellbeing. Designing

atric hospitals need to provide more areas for patient socialisation

Buildings Wiki. Retrieved 29

as well as therapeutic treatment.

Nov 2016 from: https://www.

75

designingbuildings.co.uk/

There is evidence that suggests that the multisensory

wiki/The_impact_of_the_de-

approach to treating mental illness is still evolving. The findings of

sign_of_the_psychiatric_inpa-

the Madlove project indicate that patients are keen on benefitting

tient_facility_on_perceptions_

from multisensory treatment in more creative ways. For example,

of_carer_wellbeing

an anonymous sufferer of bipolar disorder wished to see a room ‘where I can explode with colour—whether it be paint or coloured

74 Ibid.

liquids’. This multisensory painting room would also be washable, 76

so basically a wet room where patients could explore their feelings

75 Ibid.

and emotions through paint and artwork. Participants in the Madlove project have also suggested that mental health patients might

76 Heyden, T., (2014). How

benefit from a thinking room with thought bubbles painted on the

patients might design a psy-

walls where they could record their thoughts. These proposals

chiatric hospital. BBC News.

touch on a little-discussed aspect of psychiatric treatment. It is im-

Retrieved 29 Nov 2016 from:

portant for patients to re-establish personal identity in an environ-

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/

ment where it is often challenged or exterminated. Hence, it is clear

blogs-ouch-27206405

77

that psychiatric hospitals should ideally provide opportunities for a mixture of social and therapeutic activities in a domestic environment.

38

77 Ibid.

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Architecture Dissertation - The Modern Asylum  

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