The Design of a Wellness Center for Orphans in Idlib, Syria
Syria has reached its seventh year of war, with its future decimated and its citizens searching for hope. For those who stayed, their lives, lifestyles, customs, and historic legacy are uncertain. This research focused on providing orphans located in Idlib, Syria with a holistic mixed- use facility that provides for well being, education, health care, and spiritual needs, while using the culture’s vernacular architectural history. The research used the Integral Framework as a rigorous methodology to guide analysis of the problems and identify solutions. The framework provided a systematic means to research experience and well being, performance, systems and culture at multiple scales to help ensure the process was not just broad, but also deep, meaningful and holistic. The site has the capacity to house 500 children, with services that include a Montessori- style school for ages 3-12, a medical and dental clinic, an urban farm, soccer field, and bakery. Holistic wellbeing is enhanced by water and food security, energy supply, economic growth, ecological experiences, and resilient architecture. The project is an important symbolic representation of hope for Syria’s future generation and reconstruction. This project’s location in Idlib was primarily chosen for bridging the coastal and central regions, becoming a refuge for many displaced Syrians escaping the regime. By assessing the past and current problems, the wellness center will provide a model for environmental stewardship and restorative design.