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Inclusive : a human centered approach to accessible architectural design


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Architecture & Design for the disabled people

What do we understand by disability? Disability is not just a limitation for a few people, actually, it is a part of human life that everyone would experience at some point, temporarily or permanently. You might wonder what disabilities have in common with architectural writing, but isn’t architecture about human comfort? And what does Architecture & Design for the disabled people stand for?

Architecture is about creating an environment for the user, for them to experience it. There have been projects done by architects worldwide for differently (dis)abled people. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability aims to promote, protect and ensure their equal rights and also their respect. But how many times have we noticed the accessibility for the disabled, have we thought about the accessibility or their ease of travel?

architectural thesis for disabled

Village centre of Meilen, Zurich, Switzerland – Architecture: Blättler Dafflon Architekten, Horisberger Wagen Architekten Photography: Studio Vulkan

There have been developments in different countries related to public transportation such as in Helsinki, Finland, where the existing tram system was made accessible by incorporating short ramps on stops that are on the same level as the low floors of the vehicles. Beijing , China , and New Delhi, India with their low floor buses increased the ease of travel for the disabled users.

Architecture & Design for the disabled people: Architects’ Role towards disability

Architects have been pitching in creating awareness regarding disability. One such event took place in 2013 where architects such as   Zaha Hadid Architects , Adjaye associates , MODELS, and many more participated in raising charity at an auction of ‘Miniature Buildings’, where they presented tiny homes designed by them. These architects dealing with vast scales every day, coming together and devoting their time to designing miniature scales for the development of the disabled is commendable and now can also be associated with a new type of style as “Doll House Architecture.”

architectural thesis for disabled

The patio at the Laurent House. (Nels Akerlund)

There have been many architectural structures supporting the disabled. One such piece is a residence designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright in 1952, decades ahead of any listed standards for disability –  Laurent House. Though it was the only building made by the architect for the disabled, the single-story Usonian home is soon to be turned into a museum.

architectural thesis for disabled

Ken Laurent’s wheelchair in his Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home. (Nels Akerlund)

Also, in recent years, there have been all kinds of constructions focusing on health care centers to schools or residences – basically every type of building. One such interesting residence, constructed four decades after Frank Lloyd’s Laurent House, was a residence by Rem Koolhaas , titled Maison Bordeaux. Be it the multi-levels used in design or the site on a hill with a panoramic view over the city, the project is mind gasping.

“ Contrary to what you might expect, I do not want a simple house. I want a complicated house because it will determine my world .”– Jean Francois Lemoine, The client

architectural thesis for disabled

Photography by © Hans Werlemann

Koolhaas rose up to the challenge and amazed with details that were apart from conventional design. Also, the movement for a wheelchair was easy throughout the three levels in the house, by incorporating an elevator platform as big as a room, which is also actually a well–equipped office by itself. The house is also the topic of an architectural documentary entitled Houselife , narrated by the longtime housekeeper of the mansion.

Disability and Landscaping

Increasing social awareness and users’ expectations of public space with adequately high spatial standards resulted in a greater number of facilities and areas equipped with items for physically disabled people. These are chiefly items of street furniture and landscape architecture as well as mechanical devices located at places with different altitude levels and at entrances to buildings. If there are no disabled facilities in a building and adjacent area, it gives grounds for claiming subsidies to liquidate architectural, technological, and transport barriers.

architectural thesis for disabled

Photography by © Alan Karchmer

Developing awareness of the issue and designing skills are also part of the educational process involved in training architects, landscapers, and planners. When students are being educated, they need to design essential facilities, such as car parks, walkways, bicycle paths, benches, lamp posts, waste containers, stairs, and wheelchair ramps for physically disabled people. Students have to design these elements in a specific spatial situation, using adequate materials and they have to present technical solutions and visualizations of the designed element of spatial development in a specific, assigned, or selected spatial situation.

architectural thesis for disabled

Photography by © Clément Guillaume

Paralympic & Disability Sport

These designs are not limited to just residences. We all know about the Paralympic Games, and a need for a barrier-free environment is required not only to train but to maintain health. In 2012, Baldinger Architectural Studio designed a Sports & fitness center for disabled people in an area of 45000 square feet. It is one of a kind sports center in the western United States. The concept was self-explanatory, and the campus design was based on achieving a “total environment” that is providing complete freedom of movement.

architectural thesis for disabled

Photography by © Martin Schubert

architectural thesis for disabled

Vandhalla” Egmont Rehabilitation Centre by CUBO Arkitekter + Force4 Architects – Photography: Martin Schubert

The Universal Design

Good design doesn’t offer simple space but plays with different textures through the use of different kinds of materials. A successful example can be noticed in the form of a school in Glasgow. Hazelwood School by Alan Dunlop Architects is a school for children, who are dual sensory impaired.

architectural thesis for disabled

Hazelwood School by Alan Dunlop Architects

“ I was determined to create a school which would support the needs of the children and the aspirations of their parents, a place of safety and ambition that would free the teacher and inspire the child. “ – Alan Dunlop

A child learns more from experience. The design of the school is based on the essential senses such as smell, taste, and touch creates the awareness of the surroundings promoting independence.

I have always looked forward to a universal design that is accessible to all, be it an abled body or a disabled. Such an example is offered by Cubo & Force4 architects in form of a House of Disabled People’s Organization , Denmark. The organization sustained all efforts to create the world’s most accessible office building. They believed that the standards do provide the size of the spaces to be designed, but we need to focus more on the need of a disabled person. When we make a universal design, that is an equally accessible space, it enables us to widen our scope for new knowledge, the knowledge which is beyond and not just restricted to standards.

architectural thesis for disabled

Photo © Studio Vulkan

“In fact we have a moral duty to remove the barriers to participation, and to invest sufficient funding and expertise to unlock the vast potential of people with disabilities.”  Professor Stephen Hawking.

There is no denial of all the efforts, but it is time to come together and support each other despite being or not disabled, in order to promote and blend in all kinds of users and work more towards universal design and strive towards equality, as disability is the opportunity to do things differently.

architectural thesis for disabled

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The Architecture of Disability

Buildings, cities, and landscapes beyond access.

David Gissen

architectural thesis for disabled

By recontextualizing the history of architecture through the discourse of disability, this book presents a unique challenge to current modes of architectural practice, theory, and education. Envisioning an architectural design that fully integrates disabled persons into its production, it advocates for looking beyond traditional notions of accessibility and shows how certain incapacities can help to positively reimagine the roots of architecture.

This book is an urgent and exhilarating manifesto that calls for nothing less than a complete rethinking of architecture. Rather than insisting that architectural forms need to be adjusted to accommodate a greater diversity of impairments, it uses diversities of physical, mental, social, and collective capacities to unlock new ways to conceive of architecture, model it, design it, describe it, represent it, theorize it, and write histories about it. The fictional singular, athletic, male, young, healthy, undamaged, untraumatized, white body at the center of normative architectural discourse finally gives way to a permanently complex philosophical and political agency reshaping the way buildings are thought.

Beatriz Colomina, author of X-Ray Architecture

architectural thesis for disabled

Architecture and Design , Cultural Criticism , Theory and Philosophy , Disability Studies

Disability critiques of architecture usually emphasize the need for modification and increased access, but The Architecture of Disability calls for a radical reorientation of this perspective by situating experiences of impairment as a new foundation for the built environment. With its provocative proposal for “the construction of disability,” this book fundamentally reconsiders how we conceive of and experience disability in our world.

$24.95 paper ISBN 978-1-5179-1250-5 $100.00 cloth ISBN 978-1-5179-1249-9 216 pages, 26 b&w photos, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2, January 2023

A disabled designer and historian of architecture, David Gissen is professor of architecture and urban history at Parsons School of Design at the New School.

The Architecture of Disability takes a historically rich, theoretically informed route beyond disability access as a functional problem in architecture (and one often poorly resolved). Reading familiar sites such as the Parthenon alongside lesser-known landscapes of walking, rolling, and embodied presence, David Gissen centers disabled perspectives—including his own—to reveal new theoretical avenues to and poetic journeys through the built world.

Bess Williamson, author of Accessible America: A History of Disability and Design

By placing disability at the heart of the built environment, Gissen provides a radical critique of architecture while conceiving of a new way of experiencing disability.

The piece pays attention to disability that has previously been poorly understood in the field of architecture, building an architecture of disability.

Finnish Architectural Review

This book builds on Gissen’s transformative contributions to the discipline with a combination of erudition and accessibility.

Constructs, Yale Architecture

Part manifesto and part memoir, Gissen’s book upends centuries’ worth of dogmatic thinking in architecture by inserting ‘impaired’ and ‘disabled’ bodies into focus, an overdue act, as they have been excluded by the Western canon with very few exceptions to date.

The Architect’s Newspaper

Gissen brings a nuanced critique of the design professions.

The Globe and Mail

It is rare to read a book that relates as deeply to the way you have both lived and thought for the length of your life as this one does for me—and even rarer that it helps you imagine the future of your own thought, too. . . In The Architecture of Disability , author, designer, and educator David Gissen manages to dismantle and reconstruct the world through the combined strength of his own experience and a critical perspective on the material world and its many under acknowledged histories.

Jordan Whitewood-Neal, Winterthur Portfolio

The Architecture of Disability is a poignant call to arms to address the omnipresence of ableism across a broad spectrum of environments.

Architectural Record

The Architecture of Disability uses the lens of disability to reevaluate received architectural histories and speculate on a more inclusive architectural environment, one divested from the inherited biases around function and form.

The New York Review of Architecture

Designers at all scales can take in this slim volume as a set of concepts for reinvigorating their work by productive defamiliarization. For practitioners, Gissen offers ways to see differently, to think differently, and therefore to practice differently.

Landscape Architecture Magazine

Gissen’s thoughtful engagement with theory and history alike clearly demonstrates deficits in the field, outlining how ableism bleeds into just about every practice and principle.

H-Net Reviews


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Architecture without barriers: designing inclusive environments accessible to all

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Inclusive Architecture for Disabled People: Designs of the Future

Inclusive architecture for disabled people has recently started to gain traction, but what designs best demonstrate the future of inclusive architecture read on to find out more….

February 9, 2021, 12:39 pm Comments Off on Inclusive Architecture for Disabled People: Designs of the Future

Inclusive Architecture for Disabled People Designs of the Future

When we think about grand architectural feats, we tend to automatically think of elaborate buildings that serve little purpose beyond looking dramatic. That said, moving forward, architecture needs to be so much more than that.

In the past decade, we have seen a push towards creating more inclusive buildings and spaces, providing those with a disability with the opportunity to enjoy spaces they may not have previously been able to. Whether someone has a disability as a result of medical negligence, or they were born with a certain condition, they have the right to access buildings in the same way as anyone else.

So, with that in mind, here’s a closer look at some of the inclusive architectural designs of the future.

What is Inclusive Architecture?

Put simply, inclusive architecture refers to any space that can be seamlessly used by all user groups, including those with a disability. The main objective of any piece of inclusive architecture is to make a space as barrier free and convenient as possible.

Removing the traditional barriers that exist in certain architectural practices should allow everyone to participate in everyday activities equally and independently.

Inclusive Designs of the Future

Creating inclusive designs requires creative thinking, especially as many architects have to challenge the traditional ideas that have been followed for many years.

These designs have all set the precedent for what we should expect inclusive architecture to look like in the future, and all for a number of different reasons…

1. Enabling Village, Singapore

The Enabling Village in Singapore describes itself as a ‘fresh approach to social businesses and community building’. The aim of the village is to combine retail, lifestyle and training for disabled members of the community in an all-accessible public space, rather than behind closed doors.

The Village has been integrated seamlessly into the pedestrian network of the surrounding neighbourhood. This involves a number of strategically placed entrances, ramps, and spacious passages, enabling easy movement for all types of users.

2. Musholm, Denmark

Musholm stands out as an internationally leading holiday and sports centre for people with disabilities. It’s previously been voted as the world’s most socially inclusive building, highlighted as a breakthrough in accessible architecture.

Among its many features, Musholm includes a 110-metre-long activity ramp. This provides visitors with the opportunity to engage in a range of physical activities, no matter what their disability may be.

Speaking about Musholm, Mette Bock, the former Danish Minister for Culture, said: “This amazing space clearly demonstrates that buildings can easily be beautiful and disability-friendly at the same time. I mean, you really want to be here.”

3. Robson Square, Canada

Robson Square in Vancouver, Canada, is a sunken ‘linear urban park’, surrounded by civic buildings. It’s a unique urban space that is designed to easily accessible for disabled people, owing primarily to an entry feature called the Robson Square Steps.

The steps, designed by Arthur Erikson, have a ramp running through them diagonally, connecting the various levels of the park.

Inclusive Architecture for Disabled People Designs of the Future

4. The Deafspace Project, USA

The Deafspace Project at Gallaudet University has been used as a guideline for designing spaces for anyone with a hearing impairment. The building focuses on clearly visible sightlines and strategically placed mirrors and optimal lighting, creating the best possible user experience.

Deafspace has now become a design principle in itself, with the group behind the original project having developed a compendium of more than 150 distinct design details.

5. Baotou Vanke Central Park, China

This urban renewal project integrates several interactive spaces over an area of around 90,000 square metres. The park has been designed with wide, organically curved paths to prove flexible movement for everyone, including disabled visitors.

The area on which the park sits was a former wasteland, but has now been transformed into a landscape of rolling hills, meadows and gardens. It showcases an architectural feat which is both inclusive and sustainable.

6. Modular Homes by ShedKM, England

In collaboration with Urban Splash, the British company, ShedKM , have been pioneering unique, affordable housing units , which have flexible interiors. These can be modified by the user, based on their individual needs.

This is a great example of how inclusive architecture can be scaled down to a residential level, providing people with a broader range of living options.

Inclusive Architecture for Disabled People Designs of the Future

7. Hazelwood School, Scotland

Hazelwood school in Scotland has been specifically designed to provide blind and deaf students with the same educational resources as their peers.

This is done through the use of an ingenious piece of design, created by Alan Dunlop. A cork-clad trail rail wall, which provides signifiers and cues to guide students around the school, is woven throughout.

Discussing the design, Dunlop said: “ The school has been designed to deal with very specific issues whilst ensuring an architectural quality. It is a building that will not only support the senses but act as an environment that stimulates the imagination. ”

Have You Got Any More Examples of Inclusive Architecture?

So, there we have it! These are just some of the most notable pieces of inclusive architecture across the world, covering some of the most common physical disabilities that prevent equal access across the board.

These designs have acted as an inspiration for many architects, and inclusive designs are becoming more and more common. Hopefully, before long, this will be something that we take for granted as the norm.

Have you got any more examples of inclusive architecture that you would like to share? Why not leave a comment below with your suggestions so we can keep the discussion going?

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Bachelor of Architecture Theses - 5th Year

Independence Through Unseen Architecture; Investigating Multi-Sensory Design for the Visually Impaired and Blind

Taylor Trevino Follow

Date of Submission

Spring 5-8-2022

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Degree name.

Bachelor of Architecture


Primary Advisor

Sensory abilities are what shape our consciousness of the surrounding environment and our concept of the world. Architecture has been based upon aesthetics, function, and form over periods of time to appeal and interact with the senses of its users. What if one or more of your senses cannot utilize space as it was intended? A primary sense in relation to architecture is sight. Which then leads the question, how can architects design insightful architecture for those who can not see it? According to the World Health Organization, there are “285 million people globally with visual impairments, of whom 39 million are completely blind”. (WHO Releases New Global Estimates on Visual Impairments, 2012) This thesis targets the disabilities of vision to illuminate the architectural discrimination that has occurred through the underrepresentation of human perception and bias of visual aspects in architecture. It is architects’ responsibility to ensure design does not exclude any type of individual from utilizing space through multi-sensorial life enhancing architecture.Architecture that is life enhancing is established in three methods; by being informative, experiential, and promoting independence, equality, and growth for all types of individuals. Inclusive architecture can be achieved through seven key design parameters to create beneficial multisensorial design. These parameters consist of lighting, color and contrast, olfactory, haptics, acoustics, materiality, and spatial circulation. These parameters are beneficial to all and can eliminate the segregation that has occurred in the built environment for the visually impaired.This thesis will interact with the senses through these seven key design parameters and implement them through architectural applications that can be utilized in any building typology to enhance the built environment for those with visual impairments. This thesis will act as a barrier-free precedent and prescriptive guide to design for the visually impaired. It proposes a call to action for architecture to recenter its focus on multi-sensory design and remind those of the importance of making the invisible visible to all.

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The article considers the main groups of requirements for the architectural space of higher education institutions, taking into account the needs of physically disabled persons. The formation of educational as well as physically accessible scape for education and development of physically disabled students is impossible without improving the education system and adapting the architectural and planning structure of educational institutions to the training of this category of people. The main conditions, principles and methods of development of architectural policy in the field of providing access to education for physically disabled students are analyzed. Physical adaptation of physically disabled people is necessary as means of integrating them into society, as a mechanism for creating equal opportunities for being socially demanded.

Related Papers

Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 2019, 35(1)

Editor Doarj

The implementation of inclusive education in tertiary institutions is not enough to be interpreted simply by providing opportunities for students with special needs to study with other regular students, but more than it. Institutions of higher education need to arrange such an accessible environment so that students with special needs. In this case physically disabled students can follow the process of education in the higher education easily, comfortably, and safely. The purpose of this study is to get an overview of the physical accessibility of disabled students in the Faculty of Teacher Training and Education, Lambung Mangkurat University. This study used a quantitative approach that is non-experimental. The type of this study was descriptive. The study was conducted in the Department of Special Eduaction, Faculty of Teacher Training and Education, Lambung Mangkurat University. The techniques of data collection used were observation and documentation. The data were analyzed using descriptive statistics with SPSS. The results shows that the condition of physical accessibility for disabled students in the department of special education is still lack of access on some elements for students with special need.

architectural thesis for disabled

The article considers the factors affecting the objective-spatial environment of higher education establishments ant its reflection on applicants and students suffering from muscle-skeleton disorder. The scientific researches of the objective-spatial environment of European universities are considered from ergonomics point of view. Factors affecting the optimization of the objective -spatial environment of educational institutions for the youth with disabilities are revealed.


Murat Atasoy

Approximately 15% of the world’s population is handicapped. In Turkey, this rate is 12.29%. In today’s conditions, the risk of disability is quite high. Physically handicapped individuals should have the right to move easily and comfortably in the faculties where they are trained, like other individuals in the community. For this reason, it is necessary to plan, design and implement the disabled individuals as they are able to reach an unhindered lifestyle, such as all the individuals, that is to say, the disabled person without any need for assistance, easily and safely in the educational institution and for the disabled to feel like they are different from other individuals in the educational institution. Our research was carried out in and around Konya Selçuk University Faculty of Agriculture administrative and classroom blocks. Entrance-exit doors, walkways, ramps, disability toilets, washbasins, toilets, lifts and wheelchair lifting platform for the disabled have been reviewed according to disabled design criteria. As a result, the positive and negative factors detected in the administrative and classroom blocks of the Faculty of Agriculture of Selçuk University were reported and suggestions on design were introduced.

Arts and Design Studies

İlkay Dinç Uyaroğlu

Accessibility is one of the priorities of inclusive public spaces for all members of a community, with reference to the numerous man-and-environment studies since the 1960s. Enhancing accessibility of campus spaces is also a prerequisite for equalization of opportunities among all students in higher education institutions. Equal participation to the various fields of campus life as well as city life is essential for students with disabilities (SWDs) as a basic human right. SWDs generally do not benefit from educational facilities in an equal manner due to the drawback of the campus spaces regarding accessibility. This study addresses the concepts of accessibility and inclusiveness in focusing on the creation of inclusive campus spatial environment which is seen as a bounded public spatial environment. Accessibility and Inclusiveness are the concepts which are based on the complex and comprehensive relationship between person and environment with reference to both physical and social design aspects. From this manner, Universal Design and Inclusive Design can be given as an important architectural design philosophies that respond to the essential aspects of the design. This study aims to dwell on these architectural concepts to scrutinize guidelines of a holistic accessibility planning of campus spatial environment and thereby to create a real inclusive and democratic campus spaces for all, involving SWDs.

International Humanities and Applied Science Journal

Widjaja Martokusumo

Interiority is not just the science of interior design that meets the needs of function and aesthetics alone. Both of these are indeed the main &#39;task&#39; in interior design. Each building is design and built to fulfill certain functions. Hotels, apartments, and houses for example, serves as a means of accommodation. Restaurant serves as a commercial building that meets the needs of food. A public building should be accessible and used by a variety of different needs. These buildings must be accessible to those who can see or not (blinds), walkers and wheelchair users, and those who are able to listen or not (deaf/hard of hearing). This paper is study of application of universal design that is accessible of campus buildings that function as container of Tri Dharma of Higher Education activity. The case studies taken in this research are Universitas Mercu Buana in West Jakarta and University of Daegu in South Korea. The study was conducted by studying the universal design of the ...

Journal of Human Ecology

Environment-Behaviour Proceedings Journal

antika sawadsri

International Journal of Recent Technology and Engineering

zuliana zuki

Issues related to Persons with Disabilities (PWD) rights are increasingly being considered in Malaysia. This includes their rights in education, employment, healthcare as well as access to the facilities and services provided. Accessibility in education especially at universities are among the major issues faced by PWD. Therefore, this study was conducted to identify the accessibility of facilities for persons with disabilities in public institutes of higher education. This study focuses on structured observations of PWD facilities at four faculties and four resource centres in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. Five basic facilities for PWD such as parking space, stairs, lifts, toilets and pathways/ramps were thoroughly observed. A detailed comparison was carried out to identify the accessibility of those facilities and the extent of compliance to specifications outlined in universal design criteria. The study findings show that although PWD facilities were available, those facilities...

Journal of Architectural Design and Urbanism

kurnia Widya

As a public building, the Campus 1 of UPGRIS requires to comply with the accessibility for all (including the diffabled people). Yet, the current condition causes the diffable people unable to access the facilities of the building, which means they are not capable of doing their activities on their own. How should we determine the condition? and how should be advise to retrofit?. The purpose of this reasearch is to identify and analyse the need of diffabled people facilities in campus 1 UPGRIS which have multiple factor. Qualitative and quantitative methods are used in the process of analyzing the problem through comparative analysis according to the regulation, hereinafter a scoring analysis will be held quantitatively to determine the priority of the problem. Commonly the dimension of the doors which width less than 80 cm, so the wheelchair can&#39;t go through the room. The conclusion for all building, is not prepared well for the diffable people acting independently.


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Special Education School / Architectural Design & Research Institute of SCUT - TaoZhi Studio

Special Education School / Architectural Design & Research Institute of SCUT - TaoZhi Studio - Windows, Facade

  • Curated by 韩爽 - HAN Shuang
  • Architects: Architectural Design and Research Institute, South China University of Technology,TaoZhi Studio
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  9383 m²
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2018
  • Photographs Photographs: TaoZhi Studio(Xiaoyue Su, Ke Zhou, Changhao Jia)
  • Lead Architects: Zhi Tao, Shoupeng Deng
  • Building Design:  Zhi Tao, Shoupeng Deng, Xiaoyue Su
  • Structural Design:  Mosong Gong, Qianyun Wu
  • Electrical Design:  Xiaofeng Huang, Tao Chen, Zhiwei Huang
  • Water Supply And Drainage Design:  Hongjin Cen
  • Air Conditioning Design:  Zhao Wang, Rong Peng
  • Energy Efficient Design:  Lihua Zhao
  • Clients:  Yuancheng city Government Agent Construction Project Management Office
  • Construction Unit:  Guangzhou Machinery Construction Group Co., Ltd. 
  • Group:  TaoZhi Studio 
  • City:  Heyuan
  • Country:  China

Special Education School / Architectural Design & Research Institute of SCUT - TaoZhi Studio - Cityscape

Text description provided by the architects. The special education, on the one hand, the school implements the teaching mode of combining “medicine and teaching”, at the same time, the design requirements of the relevant codes are more detailed and strict, which has a great impact on the design; on the other hand, due to the particularity of the educated groups, this kind of schools pays special attention to the work of management, which means safety by strengthening management. However, whether the students really need and like the homogeneous campus space, the fixed learning behavior and the learning place is a question needed to study.

Special Education School / Architectural Design & Research Institute of SCUT - TaoZhi Studio - Image 10 of 22

Since students who need special education feel different from other children and lack self-confidence, they have difficulty in normal communication with others, which leads to inferiority complex and autistic. Therefore, it is very important to develop students' normal communication ability for their physical and mental development. However, it is difficult to induce communication behavior in campus space which is homogenized and neglects the personality needs of students. As for it, we try to make changes and design the campus space that children really like in the project of school with special education of Heyuan City, Guangdong Province.

architectural thesis for disabled

The "village" in the village The project is implemented in Heyuan City, Guangdong Province, with 126 design degrees, in which the students are aged six to twelve. The base is in a high-density residential area at the bottom, and most of the children recruited by the school are from it. Two or three stories of closely related small houses and the winding village road are the elements most familiar to children. Therefore, the design starts with the prototype of "village", so the school is divided into a number of small buildings according to its function. According to the free arrangement of the boundary line of the land, the inward activity courtyard is made as much as possible. The low level and high-density campus space characteristic, the flexible body mass layout, and the surrounding village complement each other. From village to school, the natural transition of spatial scale will strengthen students' identity to campus space.

Special Education School / Architectural Design & Research Institute of SCUT - TaoZhi Studio - Windows, Facade

It is worth mentioning that the southwest side of the original base has a small mountain package about 10 meters high that extends to a third of the area inside the site. As a result, the design wants to be based on the slope, so as to arrange various functional blocks on the hillside. However, a city road will be built on the north side and the south side of the land in the future and the mountains occupied by the road will be leveled. As a result, the hillsides within the land area are so small and isolated to be abandoned, which is really a pity. 

Special Education School / Architectural Design & Research Institute of SCUT - TaoZhi Studio - Windows, Chair

The "home" in the school With the development of the city, the fate of the surrounding residents is unknown. The architectural language of the school tries to preserve the original memory of "home" for the children. For each function volume, it uses different slope top forms, which forms the unique small house, so as to enhance the marking. In the aspect of facade design, the exterior wall of the building is mainly white and complement the shallow hues of the surrounding residential buildings. The east and west walls also adopt square holes of the same scale as the residential buildings, which are scattered freely on the white walls. There is no lack of modern feeling while reflecting the characteristics of the houses. The small houses, connected by natural and gentle corridors, flow between buildings like winding village roads. 

Special Education School / Architectural Design & Research Institute of SCUT - TaoZhi Studio - Windows, Facade

We reproduce the "slide" prototype in children's hearts by design, in which a shared spiral ramp at the center of the courtyard will be designed. The shared ramp is designed according to the unobstructed slope of 1:12, and the plane gradually shrinks in a spiral shape. The starting point of the ramp is directly opposite the main entrance gate, so that the children can see the ramp entrance as soon as they enter the campus. The ramps and corridors are like a chameleon lying on top of a building, and the ramp is the tail of a chameleon. 

Special Education School / Architectural Design & Research Institute of SCUT - TaoZhi Studio - Windows, Facade

As the morning sun rises, parents take their children down the ramp to the second floor of the classroom; after school off in the evening, the parents hold their children down the ramp to go home accompanied by the sun setting slowly. They learn by sunrise and rest by sunset. It seems to add a little bit of ritual to go and leave school, which is the most basic behavior. The ramp is originally designed for children to use, and parents also experience it since they had to pick their children up. For the circle of the ramp, it is the life of two generations.

Special Education School / Architectural Design & Research Institute of SCUT - TaoZhi Studio - Chair, Windows

Project gallery

Special Education School / Architectural Design & Research Institute of SCUT - TaoZhi Studio - Windows, Facade

Project location

Address: shuangxia road, yuancheng district,heyua,guangdong,china.

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Materials and Tags

  • Sustainability


The sunken stage area. Image © TaoZhi Studio(Xiaoyue Su, Ke Zhou, Changhao Jia)

广东省河源市特殊教育学校 / 华南理工大学建筑设计研究院 - 陶郅工作室

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