CLADmag issue1 2018

Page 18


Wellness is essentially an insurance policy to promote physical and mental long term health Veronica Schreibeis Smith Founder Vera Iconica Architecture


eronica Schreibeis Smith, CEO and founding principal of Vera Iconica Architecture, has spoken to CLAD about her mission to get wellness architecture on

the agenda of the wider architecture community. Schreibeis Smith will be moderating a Wellness Architecture Forum and Global Wellness Institute Roundtable on the topic in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, in September 2018. Making the case for an urgent need to improve on the “typically toxic and wasteful conventions standard in the building industry”, Schreibeis Smith said: “The population has never been sicker than it is today. Our bodies are constantly surrounded by chemicals and toxins in our foods and environments. Our ability to remain healthy is like a rain barrel...we can handle a lot, but when our exposure gets too high, we overflow and start seeing environmental stressors manifest as illness or disease. “From an economic standpoint [wellness architecture] makes sense. Well building

Schreibeis Smith

developers are assuming a 10 to15 per cent

set up Vera Iconica

cost increase for healthier building materials

Architecture in 2010

and systems. This is recouped by charging a premium for the real estate, as the end users justify this by valuing their health and wellbeing.” to live the lifestyle they aspire to and promote

healthy hormone production that can assist

as: “The art and science of designing the built

physical and mental long term health. Lifestyle

in the prevention of disease and illness.”

environment to empower people to thrive across

is influenced through ‘nudge architecture’, a

all dimensions of wellbeing (physical, mental,

practice that uses environmental psychology to

by Veronica Schreibeis Smith in 2010 in

spiritual, emotional, social and environmental).”

help shift behaviour patterns.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming, with a focus on ‘how

Schreibeis Smith defined wellness architecture

Asked how architects can sell the idea of

“Physical and mental health is influenced

Vera Iconica Architecture was set up

environments impact human wellbeing and planet

wellness architecture to their clients, Schreibeis

by designing with materials that purify the

earth’. The practice recently merged with Peruvian

Smith said: “Wellness architecture is essentially

air, or designs with appropriate daylighting

firm Luis Longhi Architecture. Ongoing projects

an insurance policy to help empower clients

to nourish circadian rhythms which leads to

include the Hotel Valle Sagrado in Cuzco, Peru. ●


CLAD mag 2018 ISSUE 1

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