MSA Stage 5 School of Architecture

Jamie Begg

îlot Faubourg des Fiacres: New Psychiatric Care Spaces for Marseille

îlot Faubourg des Fiacres: New Psychiatric Care Spaces for Marseille


This project looks to challenge the stigmatisation of psychiatric care spaces in Marseille.

i.) By Embedding a mental-health care space in an important location within the city.

ii.) Improving accessibility and provision to surrounding communities in Marseille.

iii.) With an architecture which is compassionate and caring, for human, non-human and planet.

When stigma becomes embodied in buildings it creates issues for the people who live, work or visit them. Stigma can be passed on between people, their work or activities, and the spaces in which they happen. This can be particularly problematic for care-giving services; effecting the success of the service itself, how people feel within these spaces and can prompt these buildings to be more readily demolished.

This thesis explores these universal issues with an assemblage of psychiatric care spaces in the heart of Marseille, encompassing supported-living, counselling facilities, and a university teaching space. The proposal is formed around a series of courtyards, which offer calming green and blue spaces and are essential to the building’s passive cooling approach. Rather than imposing itself on the cityscape, the building integrates with its surroundings by preserving the existing vernacular apartments and façades of the urban block, fostering a domestic, non-institutional atmosphere. Unlike historic examples of psychiatric architecture, often marked by a singular, formal image which can arguably contribute to stigma, this proposal offers a variety of images and spaces which are permeable and overlap with the daily life of the surrounding communities. Internally, it provides an array of spaces for social interaction, quiet reflection, and personalized care, catering to the diverse needs of its occupants and hopefully helping towards recovery.

Thesis Diagram

Axo Section


Site Axo

First Floor Plan

Resident's Courtyard

Children & Family Counselling Courtyard

Conversation Spaces

Second Floor

Private Rooms

Private Bedroom

First Floor


1:50 Section Model

Urban Courtyard