Horticultural Therapy Center

I. Site Transposition:

In order to record the site the idea of Guy Debord will be embrace, “the derive”. the “derive” is defined as a mode of experimental behavior linked to the condition of Urban society: a technique of rapid passage through varied ambiances.The


It is an exploration of a diverse variety of features that characterise the site . The Site chosen is Battersea in London. Battersea, which was initially a pastoral site and is marked by architectural landmarks, remnants of the industrial revolution, is now facing dereliction.

II. Site registration

Analytical drawings

Concepts established through the palimpsest that express the ideas of layers, series, sequence, motion and framing will be further explored through a series of analytical drawings.

Poetic Spaces is a study based on lived experience of architecture.

Abrupt Rapture is the unexpected transporting of a person from one place to a better place.

Temporal Emphasis is the ephemeral meaning allocated to a concept for a limited time period.

Event Coalescence is the blend of events that unite to form a whole.

Threshold Contrast is the boundary between two contrasting landscapes.

Matrix- Factors such as the form,  scale, density of movement, light and shadow and a number of other crucial characteristics are explored according to the concepts conceived through the site transposition

The 3d Phycical Models- The aim of the 3d representations is to capture a set of relationships of spatial, organisational and visual qualities. the 3d abstract models emphasize and express concepts such as, degree of abstraction, parameters of diffrentiation, texture and materiality.

Thesis- fragile urbanism

My thesis is Fragile Urbanism, which is defined as the “establishment of a rooted in human experiential reality that entails an interesting juxtaposition of fragile, elegant elements, conceived from inside outwards, growing in an industrial landscape.” Opacity and depth, sensory invitation, discovery, mystery and shadow, metaphysical enigma and death are going to be explored through the design.


3d Design Process Models

The Battersea Horticultural Therapy Centre- a journey of self exploration

The aim is to create a unique spatial experience. Patients visiting the centre engage with the site as it takes them on journey of self exploration and provides numerous emotional stimulants as one progress through the building.

This process is provided through the progression of various stages as you pass through the building. The first stage a visitor is confronted with is the ‘line of fear.’ This is achieved by the individual once they cross the threshold of the building – once they pass through the building’s external facade they have crossed this metaphorical line.  The physical orientation of this line is amongst a few lines which are parallel to the sites boundaries. This symmetry provides a rigidity, which once crossed is replaced with the increasing fluidity emphasised throughout the buildings internal structure.

The first area a visitor engages with inside the building is the Herbarium which is located in the entrance. Situated on the ground floor and being the only section of the site that non-patients are granted access to, the Herbarium is a pharmacy in which herbal remedies are sold. These remedies are largely produced by the plants in the building’s greenhouse.

The second stage, which the visitor encounters are the communal gardens in the greenhouse. The communal gardens are known as the ‘dirty yard’. This is a label which best symbolises the patients health.  However the prevalence of foliage helps the patient to acknowledge that whilst they may be in ill health currently, vitality can still prevail. The ‘Dirty Yard’ is divided according to the therapeutic purpose of the plants. This area, in which the plants are grown, is split over two levels. However, the deepest level, which is carved three meters into the ground, provides the location where patients will engage with their horticultural therapist. This area whilst still within the dirty yard is called the ‘Point of Hope.’

A number of functional spaces are also located below ground level, as well as this adding to the atmospheric quality; being submerged into the ground also provides the added benefits of reducing running costs such as climate control.

These functional rooms can be accessed through three separate pathways. These are called the ‘Walk of Contemplation’, the ‘Walk of escapism’ and the ‘Walk of Reconciliation’ each labelled according to the stage of the journey one might be on.

The Walk of Contemplation is a long curved ramp. This is a suitable name for this walkway, as it subsequent to the patient having crossed the line of fear and having had a chance to witness the possible in the dirty yard. This walk then gives the patient the time to contemplate what further action they may take. Once they have finished this fluid part of the journey, the visitor finds themselves at the ‘circle of self loathing’ – this is the reception. The reception area is surrounded by a number of catharsis spaces.  These are consulting, acupuncture and physiotherapy rooms which are placed on the west side and have their privacy guaranteed through a timber roof. There is also a classroom in which training courses for people interested in acquiring a professional diploma in social and therapeutic horticulture takes place. A horticultural library is located directly adjacent. The laboratory, which produces the remedies to be sold in the Herbarium, is situated in the north of the building. Next to the southern border of the laboratory, and owing to the centrality of the location are the toilets.

The ‘walk of escapism’ is the second path and owes its name to the role it plays in facilitating ones direct escape from the dirty yard to the catharsis space.

The third pathway is the ‘walk of reconciliation.’ This straight, direct ramp symbolises the vision of one’s future as they near the end of their treatment and journey. The path is symbolic as it enables a patient to emerge from the underground space and take dedicated strides towards the serenity and tranquillity of the external infinite gardens.

This final pathway to the external gardens requires a visitor to pass through the ‘escape point.’ This is a small door which provides people with an exit to the infinite gardens.

The infinite gardens are located in the gasholder, renamed as the ‘Heavenly Circle.’ This name is derived from ancient Greek philosophy which associated the shape of a circle with divinity and infinity.

Within the Heavenly Circle, long-term patients are allocated small square plots of land in which they can grow their own trees. The reason these small yards are square also derives from ancient Greek philosophy which saw the square as representative of humanity and its limitations.

Not all patients are required to take such a complicated route, as some are ready to be included in the Heavenly Circle without the need to go through the underground channels. These patients can take the straight path located to the east of the greenhouse which transports them from the ‘line of fear’ directly to the ‘infinite gardens.’

The slanted roof of the greenhouse is designed to mirror the thereputical objective of the centre. Had the therapy only engaged with superficial, surface layer problems the roof would have been represented by a horizontal structure. Thrive, however, aim to combat deep rooted issues which the patient may have situated below the superficial level and therefore this was represented by the vertically angled transparent structure.

A final design concept which must be highlighted is the sail like openings which are situated above the points of hope. These openings have both an ideological and a practical function. The ideological reasoning behind the sail like shape is that they represent the concept of a journey.  Sails are a vital tool for transportation which can carry people across troubled oceans to greater landscapes.  The following poem by Ella Wheeler-Wilcox provides an apt description as it elaborates, through the imagery of sails, upon the notion that an individual can dictate their future path:

The Winds of Fate

One ship drives east and another drives west
With the selfsame winds that blow.
Tis the set of the sails
And not the gales
Which tells us the way to go.
Like the winds of the seas are the ways of fate,
As we voyage along through the life:
Tis the set of the soul
That decides its goal,
not the calm or the strife.