Title page for ETD etd-01112011-205455

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Sumner, Elizabeth Wong
URN etd-01112011-205455
Title Grief and Healing Sanctuary
Degree Master of Architecture
Department Architecture
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Feuerstein, Marcia F. Committee Chair
Holt, Jaan Committee Member
Piedmont-Palladino, Susan C. Committee Member
  • Bethesda
  • NIH
  • reflection
  • chapel
  • healing
Date of Defense 2010-11-29
Availability unrestricted
My thesis is an exploration of the emotional connection we have with architecture.

The inspirations for the Grief and Healing Sanctuary were the healing experienced at quiet spaces of reflection and my father’s stories as a Navy Vietnam shipboard combat veteran.

I designed a building to provide a place for healing and to deal with grief. The building was designed for patients and their families being treated at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Not all families leave as they arrive. The families, many from out of town, need a place to reflect, pray, cry, or laugh.

This need was reinforced by my father’s stories of his transition from normal life to the extremes of combat to life back as a civilian. No one comes out unaffected, and there is not always a place to go and reflect.

The Grief and Healing Sanctuary provides these spaces for all people who have these needs.

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