The environment in which a person with autism lives can have a profound impact on their health and well being. Providing the right setting can help enhance motivation confidence and self esteem.
Autism is characterised by difficulties with social functioning, which can seriously effect a person’s ability to live independently. It is therefore essential that the right accommodation is provided.
The new centre has been designed to provide 12 individual living apartments for adults with autism. The apartments while offering varying degrees of independent living are all under one roof and therefore offer assistance as required depending on the individuals needs. The small cluster of 12 apartments was deemed to be the upper limit for this centre in order to get away from any institutional feel. In this way the building sits comfortably within the existing community.
The development of the design for the new centre has been completed in conjunction with resident with autism and carers to ensure that their ideas and first hand experiences have been taken on board in the design.
In accordance with guidance from the Autism Society, the design picks upon the following themes and recommendations; growth and development, reducing triggers, robustness and support tools. The design has responded to the HAPPI design principles particularly the maximising of natural light and ventilation with the creation of a variety of spaces to allow different levels of interaction and stimulating outdoor landscaped gardens.
The design aims to enhance the motivation and confidence and self esteem of the resident, encouraging exploration of the environment and providing spaces for developing interests and skills.