Sanatoria designed for tuberculosis treatment aimed to allow patients to convalesce by two main approaches: by encouraging patients to become part of social/public life while learning to live with TB, and by softening the ‘hospital’ feeling by providing individualised rooms as spaces of convalescence. Despite their sterile appearances and clinical atmospheres, sanatoria were also emotionally charged spaces that aimed to convey a sense of belonging for the patients. For this reason, the patients were encouraged to personalise their main living environment, i.e., their rooms, which became their temporary homes, and a permanent sense of belonging was thus created in spaces of transience. However, this belonging was only temporary, and later the rooms were cleaned to spotless perfection: as soon as the patients checked out, their rooms were instantly and deeply sanitised, and any traces of the patients were erased. The aim is to discuss the role of design in this contrast between the physical transience of the medical body and the spiritual longevity of the homelike space in a medical environment: Turkish sanatoria in providing convalescence to TB patients offered the feeling of ‘home’ in their spaces of transience.
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