Document Type



Master of Architecture (MArch)



First Advisor's Name

Gisela Lopez-Mata

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

William McMinn

Third Advisor's Name

John Stuart

Date of Defense



The purpose of this study was to architecturally design a safe space where abused women with children can go to encourage changes in attitudes, beliefs, feelings, and behavioral patterns that hold back the progress of victims toward more satisfying lives.

This study then achieves the conditions in existing battered women's shelters facilities in order to understand the building programming. Several problems were identified. Existing shelters typically isolate battered women from society, locating them far from the urban context. They encourage only minimal education and lack spaces that enhance positive thinking. Considerations for design strategies were divided into different variables: the fabric of the city, the surroundings, the private and public spaces, and elements used in therapeutic spaces such as lighting, materiality, and natural elements. This research used significant findings to create a new asylum design typology, which would be safe during the therapeutic process and prepares women for a successful social integration.




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