URBAN EDEN: A HOLISTIC APPROACH TO MENTAL & PHYSICAL REHABILITATION
by Duncan Keeling
Situated in the industrial context of Hackney Wick, the project, Urban Eden, aims to achieve a holistic approach to physical and mental rehabilitation through garden therapy. Visitors stay for a variety of periods, from day trips to long stays. The projects architecture is designed to immerse its visitors within a soothing sensory experience of nature;. Spatially and programmatically, the project draws from ideas utilized within the Monastery typology. Monasterys tend to be a conglomeration of individual buildings that all serve a specific function to the workings of the greater whole; this idea of volumes serving specific processes is implemented throughout the design. Secondly, the daily monastic precession has been observed through research; Urban Eden intends to establish a daily rehabilitation precession, embedded through its green circulation routes. Visitors work in groups to cultivate and produce a variety of herbal products. The building incorporates an infirmary, treating visitors through a variety of physiotherapy and counselling methods, as well as a Bathhouse to cleanse at the end of the day. The herbal remedy products are used on site as part of the therapeutic rehabilitation process, but are additionally sold on weekends when areas of the building open up to the public as market space.