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Cloudberry Retreat

Alyssia Wong, Britney Krebs,, Vivan Pham, Rico del Moral

Postpartum depression affects one out of four women who have children. Whether it be having unrealistic expectations that they need to do everything themselves or the unknown worries about becoming a new mother; there needs to be recognition of these symptoms and a better way to address postpartum depression. Cloudberry Retreat was designed as a healing and nourishing environment to help women overcome their depression while helping them move forward.
We chose this site in the Pacific Northwest with the intention of building on a peaceful and serene site away from the closest urban environments. Located in the Hoh Rainforest; it is the third quietest region in the world. While secluded it is still accessible by road and located near Mt Olympus. Its vicinity takes advantage of natural geothermal hot springs, hiking trails, and lake shore. Contrary to popular belief this site does get sun. The local climate creates a kaleidoscope of different lights and clouds intermingling with the landscape. These features create an experience that helps heal and nurture one’s mind, body, and soul. The building is positioned to have unobstructed views of the stars and the moon. The full moon and the new moon phases are traditionally symbolic of motherhood and fertility.
In addition to the natural landscapes healing properties, we also derived sustainability from the location to influence the design of the building. Existing cabins are being reused for housing instead of being demolished reducing embodied carbon loads. Moving up the first floor the façade is clad with wood fins that help blend the building with the site and all the wood used in this project is locally and sustainably sourced which protects local jobs, offsets C02 levels, and mitigates transportation costs. We intended this building to follow a lighthouse concept where it is a beacon seen by all. While doing this we are adjusting light levels to prevent light pollution that could affect local flora and fauna. The building is also designed to avoid overshadowing the largest trees in the area.
The space is laid out according to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs which is a motivational theory that is composed of five levels. At the lowest level are Psychological Needs which include things like food, water, and clothing. The next level after that is Safety Needs which pertain to personal security, employment, and health. Above Safety needs would be Love and Belonging and it includes family, friendship, and intimacy. The penultimate level is Esteem which relates to self-respect. Finally, the top level is Self-actualization which is the desire to be the best one can be. One must complete the lower levels of the hierarchy before you can reach the top. Our building’s programing is laid out in a manner to where you enter and ascend up the building by completing these levels as part of the healing process.
With the combination of the idyllic scenery from our site, our tensegral exterior, and a curated interior planning scheme we are setting a new precedent for what a postpartum care center can be. We are redefining how these types of buildings can be designed and reimagined beyond a typical box.

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