Architectural approach that facilitates traditional medicine and biomedicine integration towards a design for an UNAIDS Research Institute in the Valley of a Thousand Hills - Bothas Hill, KZN.
Danisa, Linda Mimi Precious.
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The purpose of this research document is to determine an appropriate architectural approach for the design of an UNAIDS Research Institute, in Valley of a Thousand Hills, Bothas Hill, KZN. Medical research is essential in the pursuit to discover new diagnostic procedures and treatment to advance the quality of people‘s lives. Biomedical research has always dominated the South African medical practice and pharmaceuticals although other medicinal systems such as traditional medicine practice existed first in the country (WHO 2001). After being demoralized and being inferior to biomedicine for a long time, in 2008 10th of July, the Department of Health (DoH) presented a draft policy to institutionalize African traditional medicine in the healthcare system of the country (DoH 2008). Since then, the main challenge that is facing both traditional medicine and biomedicine practices has been the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Furthermore, up to 90% of people living with HIV/AIDS consult traditional health practitioners first before visiting biomedical practitioners (Morris 2001). The South African Medical Research Council (MRC SA)‘s concern regarding several uncertified traditional medicine products on the market has led them to propose the validation of the traditional medicines using sound scientific methods acceptable to international standards through their Indigenous Knowledge Systems of Health Lead Programme (IKS Lead Programme) (MRC SA 2013) . Consequently, this research‘s aim is to study the processes and environment for traditional medicine and biomedicine research in order to integrate them in one built-form for further investigation. Additionally, this research investigates the design tools for suitable builtenvironment approaches through the exploration of the theories of Biophilia, Genius loci and Critical Regionalism with the aim of creating built-form that respects its environment, improves user‘s wellbeing and enhances the research of both traditional medicine and biomedicine. Furthermore this research studies the existing research facilities precedents based on chosen theories principles. Finally, this research studies the local case studies that facilitate traditional medicine preparation in non-scientific method: KwaZihlahla Zemithi Pharmacy, scientific traditional medicine research: UKZN Traditional Medicine Laboratory and strictly biomedical research K- Rith Tower Building.