First Advisor

Barbara Sestak

Date of Award

Spring 6-16-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Architecture and University Honors






architecture, biophilia, healthcare, wellness, nature


Designing spaces that promote the health and well-being of the general public has been a highly debated topic for several centuries within the disciplines of architecture, urban planning, and other similar fields. As more research has been done throughout the years, the notion of utilizing nature to promote wellness has become a prominent design strategy. Through the examination of a wide range of scholarship regarding the benefits that nature has for human health and connecting this research to the biophilic evidence-based design strategies of healthcare facilities, I aim to highlight what design aspects truly promote wellness for patients in small-scale mental and behavioral healthcare centers. By noting the prominent case studies analyzed by previous scholars, I use their arguments to critique the implementation of nature in four larger mental and behavioral healthcare facilities that claim to utilize biophilia as an evidence-based design strategy. Showcasing the similarities and differences of the nature-based implementation strategies designers use for both scales of facilities, I argue that more research must be done in this field if we are to fully understand and implement best design practices for such a design method. Additionally, I urge architects to collaborate with other disciplines in order to accomplish this research and ultimately design better healthcare facilities for those who are struggling with their mental health.