The incorporation of nature into architecture as a healing aid : a hydrotherapy health centre.
The intension of this dissertation was to investigate why architectural environments were not healing, but harming people, and what factors could be looked at in order to provide healing environments for mankind. The human living and working environments are contributing more to illness and the aesthetic, than to creating environments that comfort, engage and heal the human beings. Buildings needed to become more attuned to people’s physical and mental well-being and by providing an architecture that incorporates water and finds ways to heal while being functional. Nature’s principles incorporate networks of complexity while remaining harmonious and by looking towards, and using nature in architecture is where inspiration can be found for a solution. The aim of this dissertation was to create an appropriate architecture that respects nature, while providing the essential resourceful, sensitive, delightful and therapeutic environments for the betterment of those who suffer from illnesses. The challenge was that creating balance between architecture and nature is difficult but necessary for producing healing environments for human well-being. A research investigation was carried out in the form of a literature review that covered nature, water and architecture and the factors and elements that these categories contribute to healing. Precedents and case studies where investigated and analyzed to prove these theories of healing of a successful collaboration between nature and architecture. Questionnaires and interviews were conducted with medical professionals to establish the relevance of water in healing for humans through hydrotherapy. The research concluded that healing environments were possible and greatly enhanced when nature, water and architecture were combined. What can be contributed on a large scale is that healing environments is achievable and should be implanted in every society and city for the overall well-being of mankind, and specifically, can contribute medically to healing certain diseases and conditions.