OUTDOOR ENVIRONMENTS AT CRISIS SHELTERS: User Needs and Preferences with Respect to Design and Activities

Victoria L. Lygum, Ulrika K. Stigsdotter, Cecil C. Konijnendijk, Henriette Højberg

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.26687/archnet-ijar.v7i1.122


The aim of this study was to identify implications for the design of outdoor environments at crisis shelters for women and children survivors of domestic violence. To address this aim, landscape analyses and interviews with staff were conducted at three Danish cases. The findings are presented in descriptions of the three cases in terms of the number of residents, context, building type and the characteristics of outdoor environments. Furthermore, a thematic content analysis of the interviews resulted in five categories that offer a nuanced insight into how the different types of outdoor environments support crisis shelter functions. The categories are: Protection against perpetrators of violence and helping residents to feel safe; Accessibility in the design, straightforward activities and staff guidance; Being outside and the positive distractions of nature; Space for all; Room to play and relieve children’s feelings. Finally, the findings were summarized to give an overview of implications for design.


Children; crisis shelter; design of outdoor environments; domestic violence; women

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