Jennifer Kaye, Journey to w[Health] [×]
Nationally, the demand for mental health care continues to outstrip supply, with it being reported that depression now constitutes the second largest cause of disability in Australia. If the ultimate form of wealth is our health, why does it so often fall short in comparison to career or money as the ultimate providers of happiness?
Situated in context of the Alfred Hospital’s existing mental health facilities, Journey to w[Health] is an investigation that seeks to place health as its top priority, while exploring the benefits of horticultural therapy as an alternative treatment for mental health in the hospital’s surrounding green spaces. Since the mid-1990s, there has been an increasing emphasis on patient-centred design and a growing understanding of the importance of incorporating high-quality garden areas within our physical environments. As such, this project proposes a series of annex treatment spaces, inspired by the three parklands they reside in – Fawkner Park, Victoria Gardens and Alma Park – intended to extend the benefits of the hospital, and reshape the way in which a mental health treatment site could function in the future.
By addressing the rising demand for mental health services in Melbourne, this project will propose a series of therapeutic garden-led structures situated on areas of parkland rundown by everyday use. Through the insertion of fluid walls, the definition of private and semi-public environments will be questioned and the ways in which an ‘inter-space’* can be used to lend itself to horticultural activity. Intended as a hub of learning, exchange and activity, treatment within these ‘walls’ become about a patient’s experience with their internal and external world, combined with new capabilities to restore areas of public space, and in turn seek transformation towards a more sustainable future of health.
- Inter-space: relating to the zone in which the interior merges with the external environment.