Friday, April 1, 2016 Friday, April 01, 2016

The Kirkbride Plan


“The Kirkbride Plan refers to a system of mental asylum design advocated by Philadelphia psychiatrist Thomas Story Kirkbride in the mid-19th century.

“The typical floor plan, with long rambling wings arranged en echelon (staggered, so each connected wing received sunlight and fresh air), was meant to promote privacy and comfort for patients. The building form itself was meant to have a curative effect: ‘a special apparatus for the care of lunacy, [whose grounds should be] highly improved and tastefully ornamented.’” (Wikipedia, 2014)

Picture taken from Kirkbride’s 1854 work, On the Construction, Organization, and General Arrangements of Hospitals for the Insane, showing the typical staggered-wing arrangement of the Kirkbride Plan.

Lots of abandoned hospitals were stylized like this.

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