Therapy Centre for Women and Children

Chamchamal, Kurdistan-Iraq

Jiyan Foundation for Human Rights
Net Floor Area
Completion 1st Phase
Planning 2nd Phase
Beyond Bauhaus – Prototyping the Future 2019
Architecture of Necessity Prize 2019
ZRS Architekten / Pierre Lambrecht / Leon Radeljic
Structural Engineer & Earth Building Consultancy
ZRS Ingenieure
Landscape Design
Gesa Diering
Local Engineer
Kameran Mustapha Mohammed
Academic Partners
Prof. Ralf Pasel, TU Berlin
Prof. Bernd Rudolf, Bauhaus University Weimar

The Healing Garden extends an existing Trauma Therapy Centre in Chamchamal, a town originally populated through forced resettlement in Kurdistan-Iraq. The Jiyan Foundation for Human Rights provides contemporary trauma therapy for the victims of war and persecution in the region, particularly women and children. The Foundation is based between Berlin and Kurdistan-Iraq.

The project was initiated in Chamchamal, where the local therapists expressed a desire for new healing spaces beyond the existing facilities; spaces suitable for new types of care. The design was developed as a DesignBuild co-operation between students and designers from ZRS, TU Berlin and the Bauhaus University. The project emerged through a series of intense workshops in Chamchamal and Berlin between the Jiyan Foundation and the design team.

The 45,000m2 Garden will serve the community as a place of encounter for the neighbourhood and patients. The project puts a strong emphasis on the use of increasingly endangered traditional building materials and techniques. Thus, the new typologies reconnect the community with its pre-resettlement homes and cultural heritage. This act of re-identification with the past provides a way to ultimately let go of the stigmatisation caused by trauma.