The Sanctum of Salvation: A Retreat for Mental Well-being
The Sanctum of Salvation: A Retreat for Mental Well-being

The Sanctum of Salvation: A Retreat for Mental Well-being

Design Dissertation: Raveena Batham

Guide: Vinit Mirkar

Depression (n);

Picture this- Being trapped at the bottom of a borewell with no escape, the lid shutting inch by inch every day, making it harder to see, with a tiny hole which happens to be the only source of light, but the darkness engulfs your entire being, deterring you from keeping your head over water as if you have somehow forgotten how to swim. The light keeps blurring as your vision gets clouded by melancholy and grief; the grief of not being able to survive eventually transitioning to not wanting to survive.

    “Depression is a disease that can make one feel like they are drowning in an endless ocean of despair. If not payed attention to, it can make an individual get lost in a darkness so unfathomable, that they lose every sense about their encompassed reality.”

Mental illness is a mere lapse in the wiring of our brains which has disrupted the structure, the system and the lifestyle of our country in a way which has made the citizens   oblivious to the fact that addressing the issue is a need of the hour.

How can we expect progress if we don’t protect the core of our country- our youth?

The Issue

People in metropolitan cities find it harder and harder to cope with the increasing stresses that come along with their daily commitments. They are constantly looking for a getaway from being trapped within their own confines. Mental disorders like depression, anxiety, if handled correctly, can be cured in the long run with architecture as a tool. Architecture is a catalyst which has the power to affect our minds in positive ways that can be manipulated for cognitive healing.

The Objective

Creating a design which will help cater to the multiple stresses that come along with living in an urban metropolitan city by imbibing the philosophy of architecture phenomenology in the design. The proposal also aims to maintain a strong and a perpetual connection with nature.

The Context

Igatpuri, because of its serene and picturesque location, has been developing over the years as a getaway destination, where people from all over India as well as foreigners travel to, when they want complete peace of mind and relaxation. It is also a place known for its yoga retreats and meditation centres. The location Is deemed appropriate to design a centre which requires peace and quiet all around.

Key Features of the Design

“The homestay” is a repetitive accommodation block, designed to cater to every need of the individual, right from cosy rooms, to open, grand public places like the library on the first floor and the gym on the ground. The gym overlooks green turfs consisting of resting and gathering spaces. The curvilinear design entails smooth movement within as well as outside the blocks.

“The steam bath” has been designed in a way which brings out an essence of absolute tranquillity. A person undergoing mental disorders is meant to feel the daunting, largeness of the space and the curvy nature of the dome is meant to give them a sense of closure. The rustic, arched domes encapsulate the large hot tubs at a grand height. The beauty of the steam bath lies in positioning of the insert on site, overlooking the beautiful lake. The artistic representation of the render shows the grand scale as well as the hot tub mechanism.

“The cocoon” is a treehouse designed by manifesting the idea of the said word which ends up in a result justifying the fact that a person undergoing depression tends to shrink back into their shell, oftentimes wanting to be left alone. Proposing the design of a treehouse which caters to the singular needs of a person, in a setting which is naturally meant to put a person at ease can help bring the peace of mind to an individual. The treehouse, merely built around the tree uses steel as its main support.

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