Location: Providence, Rhode Island

Studio Project: Spring 2013, Rhode Island School of Design.

Instructor: Scott Slarsky

Prompt: Create a space of education and human interaction

In a society that relies on pharmaceuticals as a primary approach towards wellbeing, the rehabilitation center for holistic healing offers a variety of architectural spaces that support alternative methods of treatment. The center focuses on the healing of patients through the following concepts.

1 - Use of the elements 2 - Control of energy flow 3 - Work towards self-betterment


Navigating the current health care system, or rather what often appears as the lack of a system can be infuriating and confusing. Standard western medicine tends to rely heavily on medication, hospitalization, as well as various forms of therapy. Often other more holistic forms of therapy are suggested, however these can be hard to locate and less likely to be incorporated into the healing process if they seem to foreign to the patient. This collection of buildings and methods of healing offer a patient an easy-to-access care center that incorporates all forms of healing. Patients consistently interact with the various healing properties of the building thereby forming a bond with the space surrounding them.  For example, they help out in the garden to harvest the vegetables used in their educational cooking classes.  

To avoid the hierachichal system that exists within healthcare the sleeping arrangements of the patients and doctors are exactly the same. 

The location of the healing buildings is set apart from the residence area and therapy rooms. This stimulates the patient to take control of their healing process and pass through the gardens to their point of healing. 

Included in the building are: 

  •     3 Naturopaths
  •     Nutritionists as well as a large communal kitchen
  •     Homeopaths
  •     Housing for patients and doctors

Located outside of the building are:

  •     Light therapy
  •     Aroma therapy
  •     Massage therapy/Acupuncture
  •     Meditation/Yoga


As a patient arrives at the Rehabilitation Center, a sliver of lights pouring through the ceiling of the entrance guides them through a dimly lit hallway into the brightly lit communal space. Lighting plays a strong emotional role within the Center for Holistic Healing. A waterfall located in the center of the communal space provides both a visual and emotional pause in time as well as a natural irrigation system to the indoor greenhouse. From the central waterfall, individual water paths connect the main building to the surrounding healing buildings as well as to the nearby river. The main path of water connecting the waterfall to the river is in observance with the natural path of the sun and is located directly where it will rise. 

Each building has thoughtfully been created to assist in the healing of the patient. All buildings follow the concept of a circle within a square. 

Light Therapy - The room is entirely dedicated to light. The only action to be taken in this room is to enjoy the light. The permeable inner wall of the structure allows for assisted light therapy which would follow the circadian rhythm and natural cycle of light within the space. 

Aroma therapy - The patients are required to source the flowers and essences needed to make their scent within the surrounding gardens. The act of developing the healing scent becomes integrated with the physical and natural landscape

Massage Therapy/ Acupuncture - The room sits submerged in the ground giving the patient a sense of earthly pressure upon entering

Meditation/Yoga - Though the outer construction takes form of a square through latice like wood assembly, the interior round designates the space to be used. The meditation/yoga room, through it's lightness, offers the patients the experience of being both indoors and outdoors simultaneously