In order to transform a 1950s office building into a facility for autistic students, the design team embraced a research- and collaboration-based design approach. The team explored the complexities of autism and its impact on the learning process:
•Family-friendly amenities such as a private play area for visiting siblings, ASSOCIATED FIRMClive Wilkinson ArchitectsCOST PER SQ FT$55.00FEATURED IN2010 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYSpecial-Needs Interiors billboards and a lounge enable parents to feel at home and network with other families. Specially designed viewing windows were incorporated at classroom walls and doors to enable parents to observe without interrupting.
•The classroom design offers five different zone settings, each with unique privacy, technology and storage amenities. Each classroom entrance contains custom-designed storage cubbies, a message center for parents and a semi-private alcove to ease the transition before entering the classroom. The classroom environment is subdivided into three different teaching areas, ranging from collaborative to private.
This new space encourages kids to explore and helps staff engage students. The result is a warm, residential-inspired palette with colorful accents that appeals to staff, families and students.