Day-care centre for autistic childrenEdit profile
This day-care centre has been developed to accommodate during the day about 30 autistic children up to the age of 12 and another 3 to 4 children with special needs during day and night. It was important to create a space which would blend into the natural environment, so as to offer the possibility for outdoor activities, such as gardening, gymnastics and out-door play. It should also provide indoor alternatives in case of bad weather. The architects opted for a simple ?-shaped building, gradually immerging from the ground and creating a protected courtyard. The shallow wings of the building provide adequate daylighting and natural ventilation to all interior spaces. Due to the natural slope of the ground the building is developed on three levels: The basement provides parking facilities, ancillary spaces and a group of multi-use spaces including spaces for psychotherapy. The ground floor houses the administration and the teaching rooms towards the street. A double-height multi-purpose hall connects the two units and provides space for educational and recreational purposes when the weather is bad. This space expands to the south to the outdoor courtyard and is further connected to the arts and music rooms. All teaching rooms have access to private courtyards, semi-shaded by pergolas, for play in a protected environment. A soft ramp leads to the rest-rooms in the rear wing of the building and to the dining-room, kitchen and gym, which is connected to a large amphitheatrical out-door space for theatre, concerts, outdoor teaching etc. The first floor level is restricted to the rear side of the building and includes three bedrooms for up to five children with special needs, as well as rooms for the supervising personnel. Access for the disabled is provided throughout the building. The building has been conceived according to the principles of bioclimatic design for minimization of its energy consumption and the creation of pleasant environmental conditions for its users within and outside the building. The main exterior materials are natural stone for the long vertical facades and red-cedar timber cladding for the elevations parallel to the street. The interior materials have been held simple for reasons of easy maintenance and low cost.