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Mental Healing Hands

Shin Thant Htet, Hsu Yin Htway & Nay Win Aung

Project Image
For the last 60 years, the Karen and Karenni people and many other ethnic groups have been surviving during the conflicts of civil wars. Since May 2021, due to the current major political conflicts happening all over Myanmar, Demoso also becomes one of the towns that have to face all the chaos again. Thousands of local Karenni people had to flee from their homes and still cannot go back to their town, living everyday with traumatic moments in IDP camps. According to the data from Karenni Civil Society Network, 165 buildings in Demoso were damaged and destroyed during the war conflicts last year. The total estimated no. of IDP until July 2021 from Demoso Town is 55, 265.

Why in Demoso?
Living through every day to survive between the warzone is the hardest thing we could have ever imagined, especially when we need to remind ourselves to not give up and believe the good days are coming. Which is why “Hope” has become our main purpose and goal of our shelter design. And we would like to bring the positivity and the hope to live through and overcome their traumas not only for the people in Demoso but also for everyone who has been fighting and struggling through the civil war.
This retreat center will represent to each and every one in Demoso who were tortured and traumatized by the war and we will focus on their mental health and how to heal from their darkest pasts. And we will build a healthy relationship and the community among the local people to help each other and encourage them to speak up more about their mental health and struggles. We will create a space for our stakeholders where they can find their souls back by healing with the help of the community.

Project Theme and Scope
Our design theme will focus on connecting people’s mind and soul healing with nature. We will go with three main concepts including, “Spectrum”, utilizing the water bodies which will represent the reflection of our own minds, “Wanderlust”, creating the small green forest that will keep the people apart from the noisy world which represents the beauty of solitude, and “Serenity”, utilizing the best sceneries of our site area to bring peace and the calmness for each and everyone.
The site area speaks itself how it is lively and connected with nature. The beautiful dam is right in front of our site and also the three mountain hills lie near the site area which can also make everyone free and calm. Another special feature of the site is that there is also the water pond right in the middle. And the green and shady trees wrapping around the site will create an outdoor space for everyone to rest and heal. This retreat center will include indoor and outdoor spaces which connect together with nature. Our design is aesthetically focused on “Environmentally Friendly '' approach to utilize the natural elements within the site area including the green spaces and the water body. To make sure not to interfere with nature, we try to connect the building based on geometrical shape in the simplest forms that can be immersed within the green spaces.

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