Enclosure Without Containment: Treatment Center For At Risk Children
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Suicide in young children seem to occur more frequently now than ever before. Children as young as five years old have been admitted to the intense patient Behavioral Health facilities. It is important that these enclosed facilities are comfortable for these children while they are under analysis and treatment. The difficulty in term of design for these facilities that they are particularly secluded and closed-off to the public for the protection of the children. However, if the design is successful, it will help to heal the children. This thesis will analyze on three issues with Behavioral Health facilities. The first problem is the design of Behavioral Health centers, which creates a feeling of enclosure and imprisonment. The second issue is the traditional architecture vernacular of these facilities. They are not well thought-out with the interest of the children. The third issue is the stigma that is attach to Behavioral Health centers. Society overlooks and stereotypes these children. These issues can be resolved through architecture. • Architecture can translate nature and natural elements into spatial experiences of reflection. • Architecture can affect mental health through space, form, function, light, and materials. • Architecture can provide an aesthetic that can sway or influence negative social stigmas and images that society holds on behavioral centers. • Architecture can provide defined enclosure without restrained containment while simultaneously offering protection. This thesis will explore these theories and apply them to the design of the children residential treatment facility in the Cheverly neighborhood in Prince George’s County, Maryland where at risk children can come together for support, to be treated, and become part of the community.