Zetu is Swahili for “ours.” The Zetu Wellness Center is a pop-up wellness center in Savannah, GA. It’s purpose is healing for individuals -particularly those of the Herbert L. Kayton government-assisted homes. The project covers four aspects of wellness: intellectual; emotional; spiritual; and physical.
The building relies mostly on ambient, day-lighting, as large sky lights are strategically placed in the roof, as well as mini leaf-shaped sky lights, resembling the canopying effect of the willow trees one would experience on a drive down certain roads in Savannah. Additionally, many rectilinear windows are whimsically placed along the walls of the interiors to allow for even more light to enter the space. Plantings and a small pool of water are outside along with a curving cement pathway in the exterior. Pop-up shop materials include flexible metal-like sheets and wood.
The Zetu Wellness Center @ MLK attempts to address wellness in a unique way and specifically the needs of the residents of the Herbert L. Kayton government-assisted homes. This includes providing opportunities for the users to engage in activities that enlighten (reading), heal (counseling, confidence-boosting activities, etc.), and improve physical well-being (exercise, playing, access to produce).
Initial Plans for the Zetu Wellness Center @ MLK included a library filled with shelves and computers for homework and reading; a play room with lots of greenery and a mock stage, spots for reading, and a climbing contraption; and a very symmetrical healing garden.
Guests are greeted with a receptionist ready to guide the user to whatever healing space they’ll be utilizing for the day. The user, while walking along curving paths, can view the different shapes and shadows that the ambient lighting creates.
Children can have mock performances and play on stage. Complete with props, children can explore whatever version of themselves they want to be. Theatre has been shown to help instill self-confidence and awareness within children. The walls can be painted and written on by users of the space to encourage self-expression and allow the user to feel ownership of the space.
The Imagination room has easels and stools for art therapy. Children can have their artwork hung from the ceiling for display. The Imagination Room also has an inset bike trail for physical wellness.
The Enlightenment Room offers a place for children to read. Bookshelves line the walls and under each tree is a table and chairs for children to grab brooks and read. There is also a place for children to enjoy story-time complete with many bean bag chairs.
The courtyard is an extension of the “Imagination Room.” In the courtyard there is lounge seating and a climbing contraption for children to play in. Throughout the night and day, the courtyard becomes a beautiful place for play with light and shadow.
The healing rooms, located in the Healing Circle, offers the user group counseling services. The healing rooms are dark with minimal ambient lighting, are full of beautiful plantings, and even have small ponds with Koi fish to create a space that feels warm and safe.
The Healing Gardens offer the user a place to plant andpick their own produce and plantings. Spanish moss hangs from the ceilings as it does from Savannah trees.
The watering “i” is the waterfall in the “Healing Circle.” Art lines the wall behind the waterfalls. White flower petals fl oat in the pool. The space also includes lounge seating.