The formative years of a child play a crucial role in unlocking their life-long potential. During this period, factors such as adequate health care, good nutrition and stimulating environments have an impact on their growth and development. Thus, the role of the physical environment within child health care cannot be ignored. Although various policies in South Africa advocate the reformation of child-centered health, not much attention is given to the spatial settings and how it could possibly contribute to reach the set out objectives. The spatial experience of public health care buildings have resulted in people having an aversion to such visits as it has become more of an institutional experience rather than a facilitating experience. The intention of the dissertation is to re-imagine the impact of the architectural environment on health care facilities through exploring a child-centered approach. It explores salutogenesis as theoretical premise, illustrating how the built environment can play a significant role in the promotion of health as well as development. Situated in the context of Mamelodi East, the architecture explored aims to stitch together and integrate the fragmented, define and celebrate meaningful public space, consider experience and possible exchanges and facilitate a public service that ensures inclusion and empowerment. Ultimately, the dissertation suggests a salutogenic approach as pivotal axis for positive change in school-based health settings – from built environment, to users, to the greater society. Fottler (2000:95) states, “a health care facility should provide evidence of thoughtful concern for human needs and should be responsive, and alive.” The dissertation illustrates the possible role of architecture as facilitator in providing welcoming, stimulating and nurturing health care environments.
Mini Dissertation (MArch (Prof))--University of Pretoria, 2019.