Archiwildish Grand Designs House, Wellesbourne

Designing for wellbeing

How accessible, practical and beautiful spaces can have a positive effect on mental health

Promotional Feature By Caroline Rodrigues | 14 May 2022

As the saying goes, there’s no place like home, which is certainly the case when architecture and wellbeing considerations come together to promote good health. Whether you’re able-bodied or have particular needs, inventive design can have a positive effect on how you live.

architecture and wellbeing: the living room of an accessible home featured on grand designs

Photo: Archiwildish

Architecture and wellbeing

People’s relationship with their homes goes back a long way. Ever since mankind started to dwell inside caves, the sense of safety and comfort has had a positive effect on our wellbeing. How our homes make us feel is very important given the amount of time we spend there. This can directly influence feelings of happiness and mental wellbeing.

architecture for wellbeing in an accessible design for wheelchair user Mark Butler, as seen on Grand Designs

Photo: Archiwildish

Accessible design

When CIAT Chartered Practice ArchiWildish created a house for wheelchair user Mark Butler, wellbeing-led architecture was as important as accessible design. The concept for the four-bedroom Warwickshire house was a design that would not draw attention to Mark’s impairment. Instead it would make his life comfortable, enhancing his mental health: ‘I am only disabled by my environment,’ says Mark.

According to ArchiWildish, our homes are an expression of ourselves. We decorate them to our tastes and fill them with the stuff we love and this should be the most noticeable thing. As such, any special requirements or adaptions should be almost invisible to the untrained eye.

Kevin McCloud outside an accessible home from Grand Designs

Photo: Channel 4