The Retreat:


I was born and raised in Germany. After completing my a -levels, I moved to London to begin my studies. In 2001, I received my Bachelor in Interior Architecture from the Middlesex University. Currently, I am working as a junior designer for The Apartment, a well-known design group based in New York City. During my final year of studies at the University, my main focus was to design for the mentally ill. As part of my research, I visited several mental institutions in Germany and the UK, and came across cold, bleak, and clastrophobic enviornments. None of these institutions seemed to adresse the direct needs of the patient. Design has an immense impact on our daily lives. However, the importance of design can be higher to the mentally unstable, for they respond to any kind of enviornment in a much more sensitive way. I truly believe that design can help the process of recovery. The Retreat is the final result of my research. A therapy center designed for the mentally ill.

The Retreat

So what do mentally ill patients need in design terms?
The first thing to remember is that the mentally ill are
people like the rest of us. And like the rest of us they
need to be private at times and sociable at other
times. Design should take account of these verifying
needs as well as the move from institutions to the

Julian Leff, "The evolution of modern psychiatric care"

This is a therapy center for people recovering from mental disorder. The center is for people, who after a stay in a mental institution continue therapy as part of their recovery process, encouraging people to deal with their illness and helps them to get integrated in the community again. As well as one-to-one therapy sessions with therapist, the center offers a variety of art workshops (creative writing, painting and sculpture) as part of expressing their inner state of mind and as part of their therapy. In an art gallery their produced work is exhibited and can be viewed by the public.

The waiting area

View one-2one inside

View one-2one outside


View four seasons downstairs

View entrance

View main circulation area

View cafeteria

View sculpture room and gallery

View four seasons upstairs

Click here to download the floorplan in PDF format.