Anxiety is something that many people struggle with daily, and is something that Ella Veitch has personally dealt with all her life. She wanted to use her own personal struggle with mental health, to create a space designed specifically to combat feelings of anxiety. Researching the various theories and practices that have been developed to help people cope with anxiety, Veitch discovered that the earth’s four elements, water, fire, air, and earth, can be used in spatial design to help with anxious feelings. She used this theory to design “The Elements”.
“The Elements” is an escape for all in an otherwise hectic place. A large structure that pushes through Sheffield’s train station roof, The Elements has three floors all of which wrap around an Alder tree. The Alder tree, which is the earth element of the design, allows users to feel truly connected to the earth through the presence of nature. For both the air and fire elements of the design, specific cladding materials are used to allow for clean airflow and for natural sunlight to pass through. The water element of the design is a glass canopy placed on the top level. The canopy’s slightly tilted roof gives users the ultimate calming experience of watching water droplets fall down a glass plane.