Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Releasing Anxiety

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posted on 2021-12-07, 00:31 authored by Snooks, Benjamin

Being the most common mental disorder, anxiety is especially co-related with busy urban environments. The rise of urbanisation and modern technology has created a world that has significantly heightened our levels of stress and anxiety. In this context, our social responsibility and accountability as architects is increasing. How can we design with peoples’ health and wellbeing in mind? Through iterative design processes, I will create an emotional experience that connects the body with architecture, heightens the occupant’s self-awareness, and engages with site, creating a place of calm and belonging. Sensory design will be used to model the four levels of anxiety (mild, moderate, severe, panic level). The final design will create a narrative journey that stimulates a transition from anxiousness to calming.  The research proposition will be tested on a site located in a highly developed area on the corner of Elliott, Albert and Victoria Streets in Auckland’s business hub. This site was chosen not only for its central location but because it is the site of a new metro station (predicted to be the busiest station in the Auckland rail network) as well as a linear park connecting Victoria and Albert Parks. Together these infrastructural additions will increase pressure on an already over-stimulated environment. The station (Aotea station) will be incorporated into the design, creating an urban park that provides access from the concourse level to street level, drawing people up into a protected landscape area intended to relieve anxiety and provide a place of respite.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline

Interior Architecture

Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Interior Architecture

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code


Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Alternative Title

a design exploration into the four levels of anxiety

Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Architecture


Merwood-Salisbury, Joanna