Common Ground addresses ways in which individuals and the communities they inhabit can begin to heal together from the effects of addiction. The common narrative around addiction demonizes those who have fallen into it, leaving very little space for compassion and healing to happen. How can a person learning to recover and cope receive the necessary help they require while the community simultaneously educates themselves about the realities of drug addiction? This centre acts as an anchor to mediate both sides, utilizing the history of arts in Venice and the ritual of making to reframe the act of receiving methadone and regular therapy visits.

Ritual becomes integrated in all elements of the architecture, with the aim of providing modes of healing for all members of the surrounding community: a space for rebirth, renewal, and revelations. By introducing mixed programming onto the site, overlapping spaces act as portals of interaction between the community and client, helping to create a strong interpersonal foundation for future growth. The breeze blocks, typical of Californian architecture, is interpreted through the program to mediate between perceptions of privacy, safety, exposure, and personal connection. Users of the space may address issues surrounding their own health, or confront inherent biases developed towards addiction and mental health.

The ceramic studio acts as a social enterprise that links the history of Venice to all members of the community, remediating the past. Lastly, the center performs a time-based architecture that shows the rituals of use over time through the outdoor mosaic feature and memorial garden, where reclaimed clay tiles made by participants through the program become the shared ground for social rehabilitation.


2nd place
EAO competition: Emotions, Architecture, Opioids

Rhino, Grasshopper, Blender, Ai, Ps

Team members:
Vivian Ton
Natalie Sandelli
Melissa Amodeo

© 2022 by Cindy Nachareun. All rights reserved.