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Healing Bubblescape

Xuefeng Li

Location: Upstate New York, USA
Area: 400 sqm

This small single-family house in upstate New York is designed for a family with a child who has autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The goal of the design is to use sunlight as a healing and inspiring device. The inspiration for the design comes from the playful experience of blowing bubbles, capturing the essence of childhood wonder and joy. The shape of bubbles is incorporated into the design through curved voids that capture sunlight and cast unique shadows in the interior spaces.

Large windows flood the interior spaces with natural light, providing the child with ample sunlight exposure. Sunlight exposure has been shown to have a positive impact on children with ASD, improving mood, behavior, and cognitive function. The natural light and shadow created by the unique shapes of the interior spaces is undefinable and constantly changing, adding a layer of interest and excitement to the environment for the child.

The design features a special game room that serves as a space for the child to engage in therapeutic activities. Research has shown that sensory-rich experiences can benefit children with ASD. The openings on the wall with stained glass can turn sunlight into interesting reflections and sensory colors throughout the day, creating an engaging and stimulating environment.

The design includes several other features to create a healing and inspiring environment for the child. For example, the materials used throughout the interior are selected for their calming and soothing properties, and the color palette is carefully chosen to create a sense of serenity and tranquility. The layout of the spaces provides clear circulation paths and areas designated for specific functions, such as relaxation, play, and therapy.

The exterior of the building uses reflective materials, making it appear as it blends seamlessly into the natural surroundings. This design also gives rise to an ever-changing facade that responds dynamically to the evolving natural light and surrounding environment. By fusing playful shapes, dramatic spaces, large windows, reflective materials, and stimulating light and shadow, the design creates a sensory-rich experience that can help the child recover and flourish.

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