Healing Architecture: Orianna Zimmerer '19 M.Arch

Oct. 15, 2020
Orianna Zimmerer
Student Work | M Arch Master's Project, Taught by Chris Trumble, Associate Professor of Architecture
Detroit, Michigan
Healing Architecture, by Orianna Zimmerman.

Orianna Zimmerer's Healing Architecture is a center for rehabilitation of addicts located at the Lafayette Park area in Detroit, Michigan. The project is designed to improve wellbeing for addicts, following principles of “healing architecture” that focus on the relationship between quality design and patient recovery is manifested in easy-to-navigate paths, daylight, privacy and views of nature.

The goal of the project is to create a physical space that is open, inviting and embraces the principal of healing spaces. A torqued ellipse atrium accentuates the facility’s main entrance while an integral passive system filters natural light and promotes awareness of time. There are waiting areas located along the facility's circulation which are easy-to navigate with various degrees of exposure to nature. The project includes a porous courtyard with undulated recreational field promoting the opportunity for personal reflexion and joy (healing). Another goal is to promote security for the patients but still a sense of freedom and inspiration. While Zimmerer does not insist that architecture can heal, the project demonstrates that architecture can stimulate a healing environment. The facility forms its own identity as a place where ones goes to re-balance their in-balances.

Performance criteria include exposure to nature, distinction between public and private and daylighting. Additionally, the project incorporates design for Detroit, engaging patients with the culture and art of Detroit, accommodating varying stages of addiction recovery, reducing the stress and experience of the rehabilitation process, creating places for meditation and joy, creating a playful environment, challenging the expectation of what a rehab center facility should be, engaging patients to looking forward to being treated, increasing air quality through the use of plants that can remove harmful carbons and that are native to Detroit, spaces that are more human-driven, spaces to allow patients to break the daily journey and look out over the nature and connecting patients with nature that enliven the senses and nourishes wellness.

Image Gallery

Click a thumbnail below to view a larger image and begin slideshow:

All images are by Orianna Zimmerer and may not be used or reproduced without express written permission of their creator.

Latest CAPLA News, Projects and Profiles

Ladd Keith moderating a break out discussion during the 2024 Southern Arizona Heat Summit

City of Tucson Adopts Comprehensive Heat Action Roadmap with UArizona Collaboration

Collaborative efforts from City of Tucson leadership and staff, community stakeholders, and University of Arizona faculty to address escalating heat challenges have resulted in the adoption of a newly crafted Heat Action Roadmap and Heat Protection Ordinance for city workers and contractors.

Photo of the Quitobaquito, highlighting the pond and the surrounding landscape.

CAPLA Duo Honored with Historic Preservation Award for Quitobaquito Cultural Landscape Report

Gina Chorover, a senior lecturer in Planning and Landscape Architecture and faculty chair of the Heritage Conservation certificate program, and Teresa DeKoker, an alumna of the Master of Landscape Architecture program, were recognized for their comprehensive analysis of the Quitobaquito landscape within Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument with a Tucson - Pima County Historical Commission Historic Preservation Award in May.