Hub of Emotional Recovery
I am finishing my Master's degree at Strathclyde University. I have graduated from the University of Technology in Opole, Poland with eng. arch. degree in Architecture. This year's meta-theme of Urgencies allowed me to find a link between architecture and mental health. In this project, I had an opportunity to further develop one of my greatest interest, which is urban design.
The project proposes a network of allotments connecting commonly used green areas of Glasgow (Glasgow Green, Richmond Park, Cuningar Loop) with the centre located on the opposite side of River Clyde from Richmond Park (Bridgeton). To reach more people, the project provides a network of She Sheds in various parts of the city. Smaller sheds are focused either on woodworking or sewing depending on the community’s choice. The centre provides a workshop area for woodworking, fashion and gardening. The project offers the space and tools for women to design, create and distribute their products. Moreover, it creates a place that connects like-minded people into a community that supports each other, enjoys working together, shares a laugh and has fun.
This is a vision of a place where mental health and wellbeing is a matter of great pride to everyone around. A place that cares and supports you, where stigma against age or mental health struggles do not exist. A place that is an energy and productivity booster, an escape from day-to-day life, the struggles, emotional hardships and other difficulties that people are facing on a daily basis. The project aims to bring women together and fight with isolation, creating the space to share knowledge and skills, as isolation and loneliness have a destructive impact on people’s mental health. Deterioration of mental health through lack of social interactions is a very important issue as it influences physical health and could potentially shorten people’s lifespan. Reducing isolation is the first step to help those who struggle with mental health.
To reach more people, the project provides a network of She Sheds in various parts of the city. Smaller sheds are focused either on woodworking or sewing depending on the community’s choice. The locations were chosen by analysing the need for mental health support in the communities and the proximity of the location to Men's Sheds, libraries and Mental Health Centres.
The main idea behind H.E.R. is “accidental counselling”, which means that participants are the support group for each other, alongside mentors, who are always there to lend an ear. That is a key point that makes the centre different from a mental health facility, it is not there to treat people in a traditional way. It is there to support through creating the community and space to open up about personal struggles and reach out to friends, who are going through similar problems and help one another, just like friends do.
While choosing the location of the project various aspects were considered. The proximity to nature and mental health centres was important to create a safe environment with the support of medical professionals. The proximity of Men’s Sheds and libraries helps to bring communities together.
Ground floor plan
The ground floor plan consists of a woodworking workshop, daycare, café and lounge areas. The centre provides multiple opportunities to expand someone’s interest and share talents. The activities offered to women are woodworking, which helps to boost productivity and sense of achievement, which boosts self-esteem as a side effect. Another important space in the building is the sewing workshop, a place where women can express their creativity through fashion and clothes.
First floor plan
Hub of Emotional Recovery, while created for women only, offers the opportunity for whole families to visit the gallery located on the first floor. The gallery would showcase everything created in the workshops. Furniture and clothes could be offered for sale and the raised funds would support the centre. The auctions could take place monthly or every other month. The opportunity to bring the family along to the centre and present to them your creations would improve the understanding between a woman and her close ones and offer a chance to take pride in her achievements. The gallery space is designed to be a flexible environment, the whole floor could be used as a gallery space or some areas can be separated and used for runway shows to better present designed fashion.
Second floor plan
While H.E.R. focuses most on accidental counselling, there are mentoring rooms designed on the top floor of the centre. Mentors are qualified people who offer counselling sessions to those in need, without feeling ashamed of going to the psychiatric practice. The availability of services on-site at all times is a chance for hesitant ones to decide on seeking professional help on a ‘spur of the moment’ basis.
The stairs are one of the main gathering points in the centre. This is a place from which the majority of the centre is visible so it is a perfect place for socialisation while on the move from one workshop to another or to just sit back and enjoy the views.
The centre provides multiple opportunities to expand someone’s interest and share talents. The activities offered to women are woodworking, which helps to boost productivity and sense of achievement, which boosts self-esteem as a side effect. Another important space in the building is the sewing workshop, a place where women can express their creativity through fashion and clothes.
The project proposes a network of allotments connecting commonly used green areas of Glasgow (Glasgow Green, Richmond Park, Cuningar Loop) with the centre located on the opposite side of River Clyde from Richmond Park (Bridgeton). The masterplan proposes a pedestrian-only promenade located on French Street, which is connected to the Hub via viaduct. The route is established through series of interventions and allotments.
The elevation of the centre is designed from natural materials and includes elements of vertical gardens. The second-skin facade creates a repeatable pattern using wooden, glass and greenery panels.
The Promenade is located on French Street, which currently is used as street parking. It is a pedestrian-only route, from which vehicles has been redirected to Colvend Street. By removing cars from the street, space became a safe and pleasing environment full of nature and small architecture to slow down a little, sit, relax and enjoy the view.