Thesis – Masters of Architecture

Completed under Heather Christine Fitzpatrick in January 2007, my Masters in Architecture Thesis is

Supportive Housing for Mental Health Recovery: A Bio-Psycho-Social Perspective

The PDF format can be downloaded from the University of Waterloo Library website here.


This thesis responds to the lack of psychiatric and infrastructural support during the transition from inpatient to outpatient care, and proposes a supportive housing model for patient recovery. It establishes an architecture to support a new model for mental health care using the bio-psycho-social perspective outlined in the psychological research section. Research into different methods of treatment, perception, and current patient infrastructure reveal that the existing framework does not suit the needs of patients caught between the secure levels of care in forensic institutions and those recovered enough to sustain themselves. The psychiatric program is based on the bio-psycho-social perspective outlined in the psychology chapter of the thesis, which will be used to treat patients with schizophrenia, mood disorders and anxiety disorders.

The architecture is designed to support this perspective, and is based on the research into perception and the architectural strategies needed in the design of a healing environment: community, security and privacy, patient control including spatial intelligibility, haptic and basic orientation, light, sound and positive distraction.The design is proposed for the Moss Park area in Toronto: where the actual site itself stretches from Dalhousie Street and Queen Street East to Mutual Street and Shuter Street. Its history and current amenities make it an ideal location for a design proposal, though multiple locations are envisioned across the GTA. The design presented in this thesis is envisaged as part of a network of varying care levels: follow-up care, supportive care and comprehensive care. The program for the site will consist of the supportive care programming, which is the middle level of care.