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Heather K. Manu

Heather is a graduate of Humber College's Bachelor of Interior Design program and Architectural Technology. Throughout her journey at Humber College, she has gained extensive knowledge and skills that have helped her grow as a designer. Her interests in art and nature encourage her to use her creativity and imagination to create healthy spaces to support the well-being of others.

Project Overview

The Oasis Center offers social, educational, and mental health support for young adults with inherited blood disorders such as Sickle Cell Disease, Thalassemia, and Hemophilia from the University Health Network (UHN) of Toronto. A research study was conducted from September to November 2020, highlighting the lack of awareness, funding, and support in Ontario for these communities. The individuals experience long-term complications such as unexpected pain episodes, organ damage, infections, and bleeding. The negative experiences affect their social well-being, academic success, and mental health, supporting the need to design a space that will prioritize their needs.

Conceptual model of the structure.  Click to enlarge

Human Connection to nature and natural forms to support health and wellness.

Material swatches used in project.  Click to enlarge

Materials.

Concept/Design Process

The problem begins with a red blood cell that causes chaos in the lives of the targeted users. To escape the chaos, an indoor oasis is formed using organic forms of the red blood cell. Biomorphic forms of the blood vessels in the human body are used to create flow and interconnected forms throughout the space. This creates a fun, therapeutic, and dynamic experience for the users by turning negative experiences into positive experiences. The developed pattern of blood vessels and the selected materials creates a visual connection for the users to nature, supporting stress reduction, cognitive performance, emotion, and mood enhancement.

Site Plan/Floor Plans

The Oasis Center is located at 21 Ossington Avenue at the intersection of Ossington Avenue and Rebecca Street. Adjacent buildings of the site are The Center for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), residential properties, restaurants, and buildings that display graffiti art. The site context allows the Oasis Center to fit perfectly into the lively and dynamic neighbourhood of Ossington. Public and private transportation is accessible, along with onsite parking. An entrance into the building from the southeast side, facing Ossington Avenue is where the users begin their getaway experience. The first floor gives the users a social and educational experience, whereas the second floor gives the users an educational and healing experience that supports their needs, allowing them to heal, learn, engage, and unite.

Map of the site plan.  Click to enlarge

Site Plan.

Diagram of the first floor plan.  Click to enlarge

First Floor Plan.

Diagram of the second floor plan.  Click to enlarge

Second Floor Plan.

3D rendering of the art gallery exhibition.  Click to enlarge

Oasis Art Gallery Exhibition.

3D rendering of the cafe.  Click to enlarge

Oasis Organic Cafe.

3D rendering of the hive and theatre.  Click to enlarge

Oasis Hive and Theatre.

3D Views

The getaway experience begins with the Art Gallery Exhibition. It is the focal point of the building that is situated below the interconnected floor space and skylight above, as a biophilic design strategy. The skylight promotes clean air that highly favours the users because they are susceptible to infections. Natural daylighting also helps to increase the users' blood circulation, production of red blood cells and boosts their immune system. Art is displayed because it is known to enhance the mood of others and the engagement of conversations between people. The Oasis Organic Café is a social space that engages and unifies the users while they consume nutritious snacks. The Oasis Hive is a learning space that provides a mentoring, transition, and a pain and stress management class. To enhance the learning experience, artwork designed by the users is displayed on the walls of the Oasis Theatre to raise awareness by educating the public.

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