Healing Matrix

By:  | March - 23 - 2016

Honorable Mention
2016 Skyscraper Competition

Jie Liu, Wen Sun, Hewen Suo

Research has shown that crime has closely related to personality disorders. Conventional correction center usually conveys a feeling of suffering for the inmates. Limited sunlight and tight space has negative psychological impact on the inmates. Personality disorder tends to be aggravated in the custody process, rendering the inmates difficult to effectively reform or being corrected. Healing Matrix is trying to break the ordinary design of a correction center; it is attempting to address this social issue from an architectural perspective.

In this building, newly defined healing cluster-space has replaced the traditional detention space to facilitate the healing of personality disorders, and meet the needs of inmates in different stages of the healing process. During the entire sentence, under the arrangement by the Command Centre of the building, inmates will interact with each other according to their instant need. Inmates will also be able to look inside to discover their inner spirit and interact with the architectural space itself, through a multi-layer treatment approach, therefore fundamentally cure the personality disorder and achieve the goal of complete healing.

To achieve crime prevention and psychological and cognitive rehabilitation, other than the setup of a conventional correction center, six independent yet related types of spaces are created here. Each space has its own function and approach towards self-healing and self-correction. Each space is a cluster of several cubes. Different needs of inmates with distinct personalities are addressed here. Spaces are divided as such: Praying Space (religion support), Meditation Space (the power of inner peace), Accompaniment Space (interpersonal interactions and support), Anger/Depression Management Space (cognitive behavioral therapy), and Social Training Space (communication and soft skill polishing)

Each inmate has his/her own independent space (each space is a cube with dimension of 3m*3m*3m). Inmates’ life and privacy are appropriately respected and protected. Inmates’ instant need is transmitted through feeling receptors to the Command Centre of the Building. The matrix network would then automatically match and transfer the inmate to a “best fit” space to optimize the healing effect. In order to ensure the free multi-directional movement each unit, the building itself has an inner matrix space, which allows for three-dimensional movement. The mobility of the space has not only created diverse environmental experience for the inmates, but also has realized the frequent interactions between inmates hence promoting the healing effect.

In terms of the appearance, due to the changing needs of the inmates to the healing space, the inner form of the building is kept dynamic and adaptive. At different times, by observing the location and volume of the clusters formed by different cells, inmates’ current psychological status and the needs for particular space could be identified.

Rather than being differentiated through conventional parameters, inmates are identified and distinguished by the types of personality disorders they are suffering from. Each inmate’s experience of space and healing path is determined in accordance with their unique personalities and healing needs. The sentence is not merely sentence here; it is a customized self-healing journey. One’s peculiar character determines one’s fate. The length of staying in the building is no longer determined based on the type of crime one has committed, rather is determined by psychological indicators such that psychological and behavioral assessments are done periodically to determine when it is a proper timing for the inmates to return to the society. This spontaneous healing mechanism promotes a more positive way of self-discovery and personality improvement. Life path and the meaning of space are being revolutionarily redefined here in the Healing Matrix.

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