Goodwill: Bungalows to Assist PTSD Recovery

TASK | Versatile New York-based architect Nicole Migeon was tasked with designing short-term housing for first responders encountering Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). With acuity and application, Migeon put pen to paper and drafted plans for a portable bungalow meant for its scenic destination along the Tay River in Perth, Ontario.

REVISITING A NOTEWORTHY COLLABORATION | Years prior to this latest endeavor, Migeon had worked with Dr. Manuela Joannou, at the Tay River Reflections Medical Spa, to convert part of a horse barn on her property into a medical practice – adding a physical therapy center and an outside aquatic center, too. But despite Migeon’s belief the project was complete, she received a call from the doctor in 2016, expressing that her practice was encountering many clients experiencing a disruption in their lives due to past traumatic events.

CALL TO ACTION | Dr. Joannou created a unique program called “Project Trauma Support” that addresses Post Traumatic Stress and Operational Stress Injury in military personnel, veterans and first responders.

This program promotes connection and honors the warrior story and spirit by promoting time-tested values and unconditional acceptance. In doing so, the program helps participants transition from post-traumatic stress to post traumatic growth.

At the same time, architect Migeon researched how sufferers are affected by the environment, noting that “lighter colors, open spaces and fewer walls are better. Natural lighting and interaction with nature were good.”

Migeon created a sustainable, mobile two-bedroom bungalow which can be built for under $50,000 each, using materials native to Ontario.

BUNGALOW FEATURES | The building (Patent-Pending) is wrapped with a cedar exterior, using reclaimed oak wood for the floors and whitewashing the walls. The roof is corrugated aluminum and the plan includes a rainwater and graywater collection system. Migeon’s experience working in small-city spaces led to efficiency features such as drop-down desks, storage benches and beds with built-in bookcases.

Project Trauma Support is a not-for-profit organization.

Rendering Courtesy of Sven Johnson Illustration.

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