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2.2.5 Colour and

2.2.5 Colour and therapy: Colour has the power to influence brain activity, heart rate, muscular tension and other functions related to the nervous system. It also produces emotional and aesthetic responses that can be either therapeutic or harmful. 46 It is essential to understand that different emotions are triggered by different colours, and in order to enhance the level of people’s well-being, we need to be able to distinguish the spectrum of colours and their effects on human health, 47 for instance: -Red: brings warmth and excitement. It enhances blood circulation and pressure, and can be beneficial at the physical exercise places, but, it should be kept away from the calming and relaxation areas such as meditation rooms and study spaces. 48 -Yellow: brings happiness and mental creativity. It can help with issues related to depression, tension, mental and nervous exhaustion. Yellow can be beneficial at libraries and study areas. 49 -Blue: brings stillness, serenity and faith. It reduces blood pressure, heart beat and brain waves. Blue can be used in calming environments such as meditation, but it isn’t useful in social and communal areas. 50 -White: brings purity, positivity and innocence. It is believed that white has the power of enhancing the spiritual characteristics when added to any colour. White suggests coolness and cleanliness. 51 Figure 2.9 Blue in Therme Vals Figure 2.10 White in aquatic Centre by Jean Nouvel Figure 2.11 Yellow in spa interior 46 Carol Venolia, Healing Environments: Your Guide to Indoor Well-Being (Berkeley: Celestial Arts, 1988), 58 47 Ibid, 57 48 Ibid, 63 49 Ibid, 64 50 Ibid 51 Ibid, 67 10

2.2.6 Texture and therapy: Textures can be recognized by seeing and/or touching. In fact, when we look at textured surfaces we first distinguish light patterns being reflected on them, and from these reflections our eyes perceive whether these surfaces have rough or smooth textures. Touching, however, provides another way to experience and identify textures. Touch becomes beneficial in therapeutic buildings, as it conveys a sense of experience which then stimulates the senses. The Therme Vals by Peter Zumthor is a great example on atmospheres driven by textures, as Zumthor uses the roughness of stone to contrast with the smooth human skin and water surface, in order to create a memorable experience and deliver selfmindfulness. Day states that integrating textures into buildings can generate an uplifting environment, as well as give some individuality. 52 2.2.7 Silence and therapy: Silence is also considered a therapeutic element, for being able to provide tranquil and serene environments, and silence here is the absence of any unnatural and harmful sounds. People, however, are becoming unaware of how much noise is taking from their comfort level. 53 Architecture, on the other hand, may employ few elements in order to control the amount of noise entering the building, such as: -Landscaping the surroundings; earth embankments and rows of thick trees absorb and reflect sound before it reaches the inside of buildings. Acoustical plantings however contribute not only in absorbing noise, but also in cooling down and cleaning the surrounding air. Moreover, trees contribute in providing healing sounds, as they attract birds. 54 -Construction techniques and building materials; Concrete and masonry for instance, has a better sound absorption quality than timber. Also, double skin façade or cavity wall can assist with noise control. 55 Figure 2.14 Sketch of noise reduction in an urban zone Figure 2.12 Contrast in texture and appearance of the polished wood and the rough stone when exposed to sun Figure 2.13 Therme Vals texture-atmosphere relationship 52 Christopher Day, Spirit and Place: Healing our Environment (Oxford: Architectural Press, http://www.healthcaredesignmagazine.c 2002), 217 om/article/designing-natural-vistasurban-cancer-center-environments e+vals+material+textures&biw=1051&bih=4 95&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0C AYQ_AUoAWoVChMI4rv1-8- MyAIVxZqUCh1jCAHW&dpr=1.3#tbm=isch& q=thermal+vals+arch+daily&imgrc=ZX_69zs Figure 2.15 Secondary facades made from perforated anodized aluminium panels s/20763 53 Christopher Day, Places of the Soul: Architecture and Environmental Design as healing Art (Oxford: Architectural Press, 2004), 204 54 Carol Venolia, Healing Environments: Your Guide to Indoor Well-Being (Berkeley: Celestial Arts, 1988), 52 55 Ibid, 91 11

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