This blog entry features my pin-up music therapy centre proposal.
The design of the building appears quite simple... the toilets/plant room are all stacked in the corner of the site, as is the circulation. The ground floor is public space, with a performance space that is open to the adjoining courtyard.
The three therapy rooms are on the upper two levels, and have neighbouring one-way mirrors for observation of therapy sessions.
On the first floor is a staff and student workshop. Speaking to music therapists, I was told that most of their time is not in fact spent in therapy sessions but rather consulting psychologists, psychiatrists and other music therapists about patients. Watching video footage, presentations and sound recordings, as well as teaching music therapy students required a large space so this is provided in the first floor.
Another thing I learnt from therapists was that instrument/equipment storage was very important, due to some patients reacting negatively to drum kits/gongs etc. Simple shelves in therapy rooms can store small percussion instruments, but I have set aside a storage area in the third level for larger instruments.
Next to the staircase is a small internal courtyard, which patients are greeted with as they arrive at the first floor. I had hoped to continue this courtyard down to the ground floor but there simple was not enough space for a reception desk and ground floor circulation. Having moved it up a level, I am pleased with the fact the general public do not see it... only patients and their friends/families.
The two sections below show circulation quite well, but I need to draw another section that better shows the therapy rooms.
Presently I am considering an in-situ concrete construction, with timber panelling signalling breaks in the façade, and public waiting areas. Note the tree in the image above, hinting a route for pedestrians through the building. The wide panoramic window on the ground floor lets light in behind the stage.
The image above shows the performance space open and closed. When open, it allows the general public to view performances, and it closes at night for security. The image below shows just how large the opening would be, as seen from the stage:
Further development of this room is required - concrete walls opposite each other create so much reverberation problems, so I need to design angled walls (more constatina style timber panels) to bounce sound around better. I plan to keep the floor stone, so there is little transition between outside and inside. The lemon tree in the background would offer free lemons to all who pass it.
Waiting areas. Music therapy session last about 1.5 hours. Friends and family are expected to be close by with some patients, so they would require nearby waiting areas. I have included a waiting area on the first, second and third floors (the third floor being the rooftop terrace). Sofas, bookcases, coffee tables, magazines, and views north west over the communal gardens. The image below is the first floor waiting area, which I need to populate with chairs.
And the next image is the rooftop terrace idea, which needs materiality (timber floor panels and timber balustrades). The relationship between the timber and concrete could be quite interesting.
The feedback from the pinup:
Wall thickness's, fire protect the stairs, improve quality of therapy spaces (i.e. timber panelling, backlit, new floor design), make concrete components tactile, including a concrete model, draw interior elevations maybe hidden doors for the dark rooms, 'rooms need to be friendlier... like an old instrument'.