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Catharsis Center

Part 1 Project 2003
Mary Saradinou
University of Lincoln Lincoln | UK
The project began with an interest to find out how architecture and spatial dynamics can be generated through the study of psychology and emotional expression.

The building becomes a physical manifestation of the research and analysis. Which is to be articulated in such a way that it interrogates, stirs and plays together with the psychology of the patients. It is a building where the sense of place becomes a dramatic experience, and thus the conventional concept of space is questioned from one that stages an act to one that orchestrates the process of ‘catharsis’.

The psychological study of a person became the catalyst for the project. I put a patient in a specific emotional state, through questions devised with the assistance of a clinical psychologist. I focused on the hand expression – “mental photograph of the inner process”. The expressions were mapped and coded. These informations were translated both literally and metaphorically into 3D spatial exploration models. The design is a progression of the exploration and study. At times it emerged out of the explorations and at times the exploration was used as a metaphor in the conception of the design.

There are three main elements to the scheme –the main building, the accommodation unit and the artificial carved out landscape. The building emerges out of the landscape and the artificial landscape merges into the natural, contrasting elements amplifying the qualities of each. The building at every scale makes references back to the analysis of the patient.

Mary Saradinou

Mary is a student with seemingly endless amounts of energy, with an ability to produce overwhelming amounts of work. Her design thesis was intensely rigorous, her application of design methodology and ability to define and use an architectonic language setting her apart from her fellow students.
Her scheme was a rich mixture of floating forms, landscape and the beautiful application of materials through detailing.

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