Integrating a Contemporary Therapeutic Landscape into a Historic Campus: Design for the Dr. Martin Horvat Hospital, Rovinj, Croatia
This thesis explores questions of the modern restorative healthcare environment and the value of cultural landscape preservation by developing a planning strategy and landscape design for the Dr. Martin Horvat Hospital in Rovinj, Croatia. This site, located along the east coast of Adriatic Sea, has been the location of a hospital for more than 100 years. The area is known for its pleasant climate as well as the quality of the sea water, and the hospital location has a superior value for health and healing. The area and this site have been greatly influenced by the domestic and international turbulence in the twentieth century, but since 1991 Rovinj (as well as Croatia), has moved forward in relative stability. The layers of history on this site, create a distinctive mosaic and partially conflicting cultural historic environment, which makes its preservation more challenging. In 2015, Croatia became a member of the European Union (EU). The economy has boomed, resulting in increasing domestic health care needs as well as international health tourism. By considering the latest theories of therapeutic healthcare environments, case studies of therapeutic gardens, interviews with experienced therapists, and interviews with employees of the Horvat Hospital, this thesis presents a responsive proposal in six parts: 1) a restorative health environment system; 2) an updated universal design; 3) therapeutic gardens; 4) a restorative environment for employee health; 5) public value; and 6) sustainability. This thesis also explores principles of cultural landscape conservation based on international (UNESCO) standards and United States (NPS) guidelines, to propose flexibility in cultural landscape restoration practice based on ecological and sustainable values as well as the issue of authentic cultural historic experience. Finally, this thesis integrates historic cultural landscape preservation and modern healing landscape design, through the design process based in part on evidence derived from an interdisciplinary perspective. There are memory studies in medical science that focus on learning mechanisms and temporal context development related to the quality of the physical environment; an authentic historic environment contains a series of concrete cues that can help people to reinforce or even recover their memories. Hence, this thesis proposes that a historic environment represents a place of the known and familiar that helps make feel people secure. Restoration of the historic environment is a good metaphor that represents how we treat the past--the old--so may be especially important to elderly patients. The proposal that a restored historic environment is a healing environment is still a hypothesis. This thesis concludes by advocating collaborative studies that include psychology, historic preservation, and therapeutic landscape professionals, to address the restorative values of historic and natural landscapes for human health and wellbeing.
- Landscape architecture