In my latest project, I developed a model for a small doctor’s service in the north of Brighton. The GP is based on the site of an old Victorian warehouse, and the former scrapyard for the train station has become a therapeutic winter garden. In the proposal, patients will experience the integration of the health benefits of the natural environment with medical care, while a disused building becomes a healing environment for physicians and clients alike. This focus on reuse of and minimisation of waste has been the philosophy of my design group, Studio 16 in the School of Architecture at Brighton. My other interests lie in how architecture has the potential to greatly influence public health and wellbeing through designing with awareness of the mental and physical health impacts of our built environment, which was the point of focus and research for my dissertation.
The greatest influence for my work this year has been the projects of Inge Vink and Jan de Vylder, the Belgian design studio A JDVIV. Their approach cherishes the existing, creating delicate spaces from materials that are found nearby. They force the visitor to question what we find beautiful in architecture, what else can we find beautiful, what do we value other than beauty: things that are ‘old’, ‘damaged’, ‘tattered’ receive a new appreciation by the eye, but are also essential in a world running out of resources and overrun by waste.