Friday, November 13, 2015

School for the dual impaired

By: Alicia Luthy
Hello all! As I have stated before, I am designing a school for the dual impaired. For this week I am going to talk about a couple of my case studies. These schools are very unique, seeing how the architect decided to designed with the children’s impairments in mind is very interesting.
Hazelwood School for the Dual Impaired is located in the City of Glasgow, Scotland. This school was designed by the firm Alan Dunlop Architect Limited. It was designed for children ages up to 19 and for the teachers who accommodate to their special needs. The school currently assists children 2-19. All the students who attend this school have some extent of cognitive impairment enduring dual-sensory impairment. The school was designed with intentions to create a safe learning environment that would inspire the children. The plan resembles a sea horse with a long axis running east and west. There are ten classrooms that occupy half of the volume. The rooms have different functions such as music room, library, cafeteria, a gymnasium, and a hydrotherapy pool. Also, to assist with therapy there are many garden spaces where teachers can take the children to calm them down.
This school is a great example of a dual impaired, sensory based school. The layout of the school works well with the disabilities Not only does the sea horse shape guide students through, there are sensory wall guides to lead the students through the design. A unique aspect about the design is how they incorporate the landscape with the design. It is important to have quiet areas for impaired students to be.
The second one is the Anchor Center for Blind Children. It was constructed in 2007 and is located in Denver, Colorado. It was designed by Davis Partnership Architects. The center is approximately 23,390 SF. This center teaches the visually impaired infants, young, and their families. It provides their families and students with hope and confidence to reach their highest potential. The design includes difference in light, sounds, a sensory garden, and cane training bicycle trail. The center’s interior is free of obstructions. There are many different variations in scale, materials, and different lighting helps navigate and orient students through the site. Colored windows were chosen for each space based on color theory and the passive or active nature of the pod.
Something I took from the research is the wide hallways. It is important to have wide hallways to give students security as they walk and so they do not bump into each other. The main concept behind the program is to help children and their families gain the confidence to do daily activities. This project is a great reference to the multi-sensory experience. Not only do they have a sensory garden, the interior uses colors and shadows as a navigation. As well as, they use the light intensity to help navigate students.       

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