Supporting well-being with therapeutic work

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Stimulating and supporting rather than fixing what is broken, has empowered people to a far more patient lead, proactive attitude to health and wellness.

An attempt to mirror this in a building design process has been made by a small project group of artists and therapist together with our lead designer Lothar Haasis in a life sharing community in Aberdeen. Rather than analysing deficiencies of the old building, site constraints and financial limitations, the group had chosen to embark on a positive visioning process to nurture and explore their imagination for a supportive environment for therapeutic work.

The result was rewarding in many ways, the social and artistic process actually empowered the group to become attuned and strong to carry a building project without stress and strains. Whilst a conventional feasibility study would have suggested providing a larger, efficient centre in proximity to the main road, the group opted to design a small building on a compact site with access to beautiful gardens.

The result is a small, carefully crafted building, that loosely complements an existing court yard, with gables alluding to the traditional roof-scapes of the neighbouring historic houses and sweeping curves in plan, to accentuate flow and creative expression in the individual therapy spaces. A caretaker’s flat in the roof provides a consciousness around the centre and a caring hand to look after the place beyond the professional activities.

People can receive complementary therapy in rhythmical massage and Dr. Hauschka massage, therapeutic oil bath, speech and counselling therapy and a number of other individually tailored therapies including movement, painting, and music in an adjacent chapel.

Nurturing our sense of well-being is also about pleasing the senses and enjoying the moment; in their annual awards ceremony the Aberdeen Civic Society nominated the building because of its contemporary, magical fairytale atmosphere as one of the best small projects of the year 2010.