Design for Autism

Page 1




Integrated Design Report Mark White - 120010261 Year 4





Critical Reflection



Contextual Analysis + Strategy

Defining Autism

Ageing + Autism


Design Goals


Urban + Site Analysis





Brief Appraisal + Development





Do, Consider, Avoid


Technical Strategy + Resolution




Precedent Analysis



I. MP + L

(See separate booklet)

II. Design Development + Process


III. Client Contacts + Consultees


IV. St. Paul’s Cathedral, Dundee



“Our duty is not to cure but to re­lieve suffering and max­im­ise each person’s potential.” John Elder Robison

Preface There are approximately 58,000 people with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), in Scotland. Resources and facilities are very limited, whilst funding and budget cuts are causing a real strain on staffing numbers and therefore the quality of care being received. As a consequence autistic individuals are being made to use existing buildings which compromise- and can even put at risk- the wellbeing of the individual instead of having buildings that are purpose built, that work around the individual and their needs. Autism until the 1980s was largely undiagnosed with little successful research up until that point being conducted. Since then the majority of work and research in the area has been concentrated on children and education. This has led to little information or provision, in relation to elderly with ASD. Pioneering research being conducted currently mainly in Europe, and more specifically Denmark, aims to combat this lack of research and provision. Purpose built provisions for ASD in Scotland are limited, with Elderly ASD facilities in the country being non-existent. Autism as a condition, independent from any other condition, can be incredibly challenging to live with but if you combine ASD with other conditions such as arthritis or dementia it makes life even more challenging; this also makes caring for, and living arrangements, very difficult. Many elderly people become entirely dependent on care and their surroundings need to enable them to enjoy their life and live comfortably. The demand is most definitely there for this type of facility. From research conducted by National Autistic Society Scotland, 1 in 5 people with ASD in Scotland are over the age of 60 (approximately 1200 people). The strategic urban, and design, response is to continue to develop a model for designing ASD specific typologies; in particular dealing with the rising demand for Geriatric and Elderly ASD specific facilities within Scotland, and further afield. Combining Geriatric and Elderly Care with a public face in the form of a day centre will increase awareness while also providing the specialist facilities that are much needed. The model would seek to respond to the site specific conditions while also offering a design approach that could be replicated to suit further developments of the typology. Integrated Design Report | Introduction | Page 11

Critical Reflection Brief and Programme The 4h Year Design of Autism studio group raised a series of interlinked issues and questions in relation to the care and provision provided for people with ASD. Providing an environment that fosters curiosity and personal development, while providing clearly defined thresholds and spatial order is pivotal to the success of any design for ASD service users. Understanding how this care is provided within the United Kingdom, and specifically Scotland, is integral to understanding the design issues that arise form designing for those with ASD. Also understanding how care is dealt within countries such as Denmark and Netherlands would influence the design approach and concepts of the studio project. These varying strategy’s and types of care would influence the discourse and resolution of the issue. While as a group we identified 6 main typologies of ASD specific buildings and selection of varying sites within the Stirling and Stirlingshire areas; it was up-to the individual to select an appropriate site and use in relation to what they believed to be most important in the urban, political, social and economic climate. The site, Langgarth House, is situated within walking distance of Stirling city centre and easily accessed via the train station and bus links that connect to the rest of Scotland. The site, although so close to the city centre, sits within a pocket of serenity within the urban context. Langgarth House, as previously described, due to its location, connections and setting lend itself to Elderly Housing and a Day Centre. This also a severely underprovided type of care within the whole of Scotland, and worldwide. ASD was only fully recognised as a condition in the mid 1960’s and therefore this is the first generation of elderly ASD service users that require care. The spaces between are equally as important as the buildings that define the urban environment. This could be seen as even more important when it comes to ASD design. The site requires an overarching masterplan that integrates every element with the wider-context, defines a series of vary external and internal spatial arrangements while providing places of retreat and interaction. Autism, by nature, is a spectrum condition with no two service users the same. As ASD is such a varying condition with people reacting to situations and spaces very differently a key question is who do we design for? Is it for a specific type of ASD sufferer or do we take a far broader brush approach trying to deal with everything, albeit probably not very well. The view taken be myself Integrated Design Report | Introduction | Page 13

Existing Buildings + Site Boundary

Responding to street edge

(this differs within the studio group) was to target two main groups of ASD service users: those who are low functioning and highly dependent, and those who are higher functioning and lower level of dependency. In order to categorise the needs of such a diverse and complex spectrum the ‘Triad of Impalements’ can be used. This categorises the three main characteristics of people with ASD. The triad highlights difficulty with: •

Social communication

Social integration

Social imagination

Approach + Concept The conceptual approach was informed by a wide variety of research based information This to begin with was based on our group Urban and programme Analysis, followed by a study trip to Denmark to view how ASD care is approached there, and finally through individual research and study. The way care is approached within Denmark, and other European countries, such as the Netherlands, can vary quite dramatically in comparison to the level of care and funding provided within the UK, and specifically Scotland. Hinnerup Concept: “The Hinnerup philosophy encourages an understanding that people with disabilities are also human beings; their needs can be different to ours but they have hopes and dreams and they need help to make them come true.” So to avoid residents having to move to a nursing home or a hospital – move or change can be unsettling for people with autism – Hinnerup is building four new homes to accommodate these needs. Hinnerup is trying to make some new types of housing so people will never have to move, even if they are confined to their bed. The housing is a massive project, but other, simpler steps, also support the notion of Hinnerup’s ageing population. All residents, for example, have health checks with the doctor at least once a year – at a scheduled date they can plan for – in order to detect age-related illnesses, and so they become familiar with doctor visits. Hogeweyk Concept: Around the common and familiar building blocks lifestyles are built from a social approach. Look at day to day life and create conditions for the residents so that they are Integrated Design Report | Introduction | Page 15

Introduction of Masterplan + Creating Variety of Space

Public / Private + Access / Route

challenged by recognisable incentives to remain active in daily life. In the nursing home groups of up to seven residents with shared interests and backgrounds live together in a lifestyle-group. The design and decoration of the homes and surroundings is tailored to the lifestyles. In Hogewey’s opinion people with dementia should be able to live their lives the way they were used to, with the support and services they want. Continuing the resident’s lifestyle is the starting point. This is facilitated by letting the residents choose from seven different lifestyles the one that fits them best. The lifestyles encompass views on work, living, consumption and leisure. The lifestyles offered match the ones they used to have. This approach to care is far more ‘relaxed’ with service user exploration and self-development regarded as being more important that security and safety. From this group work, study trip and individual research key themes and ideas became apparent. The need for: •

Clear routes that give priority to the pedestrian

Visual connections between spaces

Clear thresholds

Safe + protected spaces

Well defined spatial arrangements

From this key diagrams could be developed in relation to Threshold, Place finding and Route. These work from the macro down to the micro scale through all parts of the urban context, site and design Thresholds, Place finding + Route The need for clear and defined routes within the proposal is key. This clarity in circulation allows residents to navigate around the site with a level of independence. It can be very distressing for people with ASD if way-finding is unclear and circulation spaces become cluttered and untidy. Blind spots can also be an issue; where ever the circulation route turns a corner a small ‘pocket’ social space helps the transition and makes the service user feel at ease. These ‘pockets’ also act as a place finding devices around the site with each one having a district colour/materials palate. As the dwellings are all on a single storey this helps to avoid confusion. If place finding is not clear it could cause a lot of stress and anxiety for the service users. Integrated Design Report | Introduction | Page 17


Housing Type A (Low Dependency)

Housing Type B (High Dependency)

Day Centre

Masterplan / Developer Housing

Within the Day Centre the central entrance foyer and reception act as a marker to aid way-finding. To aid transition from private to public spaces threshold must be carefully considered. A change in scale and ground materials can help to differentiate the type of space a service user is in. The thresholds should aid incremental and staged transitions so as not to thrust someone with ASD into an uncomfortable situation. Contemporary Practice and Architectural Language Caruso (2016) observes that new bold architectural forms lack the complexity and ambiguity that lies within traditional forms. He goes on to say it is “only when we understand the past that architecture can continue to be relevant social and artistic discipline” and that any design that aid the continuity between contemporary practice and past architecture is worthy. The sensitivity of architects such as Caruso St. John, Sergison + Bates, Dulchas and Rural Architecture should be sought within the Integrated Design Project. Architects for Health (2017) believes that “the spaces of healthcare have an important effect on the well-being of patients, their friends and families, and that good design can positively influence patient outcomes”. This is the type of space that must be created with in the studio project. The strategical resolution within the design project is intrinsically connected to this type of architecture that responds to the percent but has connections with the past architectural language. The materials and detailing used hint towards a vernacular architecture that responds to the macro and micro context while taking ideas from further afield to produce a design that suits the brief and context.

Integrated Design Report | Introduction | Page 19

Contextual Analysis + Strategy

Symptoms of ASD

Defining Autism Autism, also called ‘Autism Spectrum Disorder’ (ASD) is a developmental disorder. Developmental disorders typically are diagnosed in childhood and continues throughout the rest of their life. There are several myths about autism and of incorrect information available on the internet. As a result, it can be hard to find reliable information about what autism really is—and isn’t. Autism is a disorder that includes differences and/or challenges in social communication skills, fine and gross motor skills, speech, and intellectual ability. People with autism also have atypical responses to sensory input, like unusual sensitivity to light, sound, smell, taste, and/or sensory cravings. Other common symptoms include “stimming” (hand flapping, toe walking, rocking), a need for sameness and repetition, anxiety, and—in some cases—amazing “savant” abilities in certain areas (often music and maths). Because autism is a spectrum disorder, it is possible to be mildly, moderately, or severely autistic. They may present different levels of sensitivity to sounds, touch, tastes, smells, light or colours - hyposensitive or hypersensitive. Some people also use the term ‘neurodiverse’ to describe ASD, as opposed to people without autism being ‘neurotypical’. Their perceptive system is always in hyper drive and ordinary even unnoticeable stimuli for neurotypical people may affect a person with ASD in a more severe way and disrupt their inner peace. People with ASD can also have a combination of mild and severe symptoms. For example, it is possible to be very intelligent and verbal but also have severe symptoms of anxiety and sensory dysfunction. It is important to know that autism is neither a mental illness nor a condition that gets worse over time. In fact, almost every autistic person grows and matures over time, particularly with intensive treatment. Communication skills Autism has immense implications on how the individual perceives the world around them and communicates to, or relates to, other people. Varying behaviour It is a pervasive and variable neurodevelopmental disorder characterised by severe deficits in social interactions and communication, by an extremely limited range of activities 1. 2. 3. Integrated Design Report | Contextual Analysis + Strategy | Page 23

Social Interaction

Social Imagination

Social Communication

and interests, and often by the presence of repetitive, stereotyped behaviour. Autistic Spectrum Autism is classified as a spectrum condition because of the way it affects different individuals. While all people with autism share certain difficulties, mentally and physically, their conditions, depending on where on the spectrum they lie, affect their lives in a different way. Perception of reality Probably some of the most common characteristics have to do with the way people on the autistic spectrum make sense of the world that surrounds them. Intelligence, talent and skill People with Asperger syndrome, which is a form of autism, are often of average or above average intelligence. They have fewer speech impediments but may still have difficulties with understanding and processing languages. Such individuals are often outperforming neurotypical people in certain aspects of science, arts etc. due to the unique way they see and understand the world. Triad of Impairments The measures for identifying and establishing autism, the most commonly recognised today, are founded on evident social characteristics which the individual displays in three main areas concerning Social Communication, Social Interaction and Social Imagination, acknowledged by most as the ‘Triad of impairments’ (Bogdashina, 2005). This was first described by Lorna Wing, who highlighted their problems with fine and major co-ordination and organisational skills. In addition, they can be distressed by underlying fears and phobias, sometimes concerning sensory sensitivities. As a result, their behaviour can be significantly effected and the impact of fears and phobias on daily life should not be underestimated. Autism is a field with varying manifestations, which are all part of a ‘spectrum’ of linked disorders. Some individuals will be severely affected, placing them high on the ‘spectrum’, whereas others their problems may seem to be rather discreet on the surface. Furthermore, some people with autism may have learning difficulties, while others are more capable, with average or above average intelligence. (Bogdashina, 2005). Integrated Design Report | Contextual Analysis + Strategy | Page 25

Behavioural Groups Along with the Triad of Impairments there are four behavioural groups that are used to help aid diagnosis of autism these can consist of simple and complex activities: Examples of complex stereotyped activities involving objects; intense attachment to particular objects for no apparent purpose; a fascination with parents, sounds, etc.; arranging objects in lines or patterns, etc. Examples of complex stereotyped activities involving routines: insistence on following the same route to certain places; bedtime ritual; repetition of a sequence of odd body movements. Examples of complex verbal or abstract repetitive activities; fascination with certain topics; asking the same series of questions and demanding standard answers. Simple stereo-typed activates; flicking fingers, objects; spinning objects or watching objects spin; tapping or scratching on surfaces; feeling special textures; rocking; head banging or self-injury; teeth grinding; producing noises, etc.

Integrated Design Report | Contextual Analysis + Strategy | Page 27

Ageing + Autism When a person has autism and any other mental or physical health condition, they are said to have a co-existing condition i.e. depression, epilepsy, OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) etc. As the mind and body undergo the ageing process, co-existing conditions can change or new ones can develop; new conditions such as dementia, arthritis and osteoporosis etc. Dementia Dementia is a degenerative condition with no known cure. The symptoms, such as memory loss, cognitive impairment, difficulty communicating and changes in mood get worse over time. The prevalence of dementia is age related but, at any particular age, the prevalence may be falling as overall health in early and mid-life improves. Never-the less 40% of people aged 85 and over will develop dementia and be in need of long-term care. This is most-likely higher for those who suffer from ASD. The history of the development of environments specifically designed for people with dementia began in earnest in Australia around the 1980/1990’s. At that stage the designs were based as much on avoiding the obvious errors that could be seen in the prevalent institutional approach to the care of people with dementia than on the few examples of systematic approaches to designing for people with dementia. Over the last 20 years a considerable amount of research has been carried out to identify the essential components of good design for people with dementia. Other age considerations Other age related illnesses such as arthritis and other mobility issues should also be considered. Integrated Design Report | Contextual Analysis + Strategy | Page 29

Design Goals Having worked up a comprehensive design framework, the following design goals have been identified as clear facets that should be worked to within each individual from the group’s own design project. Ensure integration with wider community: Integration with the wider community is a must for any ASD development. Links to the local community work to strengthen awareness, integration and funding whilst also providing ASD individuals with a ‘real life’ experience. The design of any building must look to root itself within its context both physically but also socially. Create an inclusive micro community Social interaction is a key component in the development of autistic individuals. Providing spaces that permit social intercourse and encourages a communal feeling which will aid in the development of service users long term. Provide a secure environment The feeling of security and safety is essential in designing for ASD. Secure environments encourage open minds for learning and communicating, allowing service users to develop personally, tackling anxiety- a common issue for people with autism. Insecurity is a catalyst for regression in individuals with ASD, thus providing secure environments is a must. Enable independence Providing spaces that enable a feeling of independence encourages personality and a general feeling of purpose, importance and significance. Instil a sense of ownership Ownership creates a sense of worth. Providing environments that are personal to the individual and allow them to feel that the space they occupy is their own works to tackle anxiety and encourage personality in defining their own living arrangements. Ensure durability High quality design materials, fixtures, fittings and appliances lower future maintenance issues and replacement costs whilst safeguarding residents in the event of episodes or frustrated outbursts that can be commonplace when dealing with autism. Provide flexible spaces Flexible spaces not only future proof purpose built developments but also allows spaces to be adapted to the varied requirements of service users. No one autistic person is the same thus flexibility ensures adaptable use.

Integrated Design Report | Contextual Analysis + Strategy | Page 31

Ensure spatial choices Allowing service users choice within their environment by offering various conditions relating to social exposure and visual relief internally and externally that can provide a sense of calm and often easing anxiety. Provide natural environments Natural environments ease the senses therefore, providing garden spaces and views to natural environments is essential in any design solution for ASD; Ensure varied social exposure Create various scales of space for socialising within the site Foster health + wellbeing Due to the nature of ASD, the design should positively impact on the lives of the service users. In terms of physical design this can be achieved by using natural, sustainable materials, utilising natural light and ventilation and providing spaces that makes use of links to nature and natural environments which are directly linked to health and wellbeing. Minimise sensory overload Simplicity is key when designing spaces. Providing spaces that do not negatively impact on the senses and create calm, controlling stimulation are the intention. Ensure spatial clarity + transitioning Threshold spaces and interstitial spatial planning is significant when designing for ASD. Staging changes in environments such as room heights and depths with gradual shifts is far less daunting in terms of tactility of space for service users, promoting spatial legibility. Prevent regression + ensure personal development Providing spaces that enhance a persons’ setup, promoting their personal development is of great importance. Regression is a prevalent issue and therefore spatial planning and design should seek to prevent such occurrences. Achieve affordability By selecting the correct specification of materials and colours that create spaces that are not overwhelming and generally designing with the future in mind will, over the lifespan of the development, save money and be far more efficient in the long term ensuring longevity. Ensure accessibility to facilities Close proximity and ease of access to public transportation, retail and activity facilities ensures an ideal environment for service users, cutting down travel time and promoting inclusion within the wider community. Integrated Design Report | Contextual Analysis + Strategy | Page 33

Population (cities)

Urban + Site Analysis Stirling is located within the central belt of Scotland. The city is located several miles to the west of the mouth of the River Forth. Historically it was strategically important as the “Gateway to the Highlands”, with its position near the Highland Boundary Fault between the Scottish Lowlands and Highlands. Being one of the main 6 cities in Scotland, the population density is much higher than surrounding rural areas. The city of Stirling sits in a unique position within Scotland; placed at the nucleus of the Central Belt and close to major cities such as Edinburgh and Glasgow, though also know as ‘The Gateway to the Highlands’, due to its close proximity to the rural North and the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park to the West. The old town centre consists of several bustling main streets. The train station is only a five minute walk from the city centre, access within the city and surrounding areas is made very easy. As well as the castle, Stirling has a rich history with two important battles in history taking place here; the Battle of Stirling Bridge and the Battle of Bannockburn. The history of the city is told and shared through visitor centres and pulls in tourists all year round. Another landmark just outside of the city (near the university campus) is the Wallace Monument, which commemorates Sir William Wallace a 13th century Scottish hero. There are a several nodes of industry within the city; the Springkerse Industrial Estate is situated just East of the centre and the Castle Business Park just outside of the area of Raploch. Historically industrial centres for towns always sat to the East so as to carry the fumes from the factories away from the West of the town. After undertaking a comprehensive group Urban Analysis of the Stirling + Stirlingshire area a number of sites were selected to analyse further. Integrated Design Report | Contextual Analysis + Strategy | Page 35

Bridge of Allen

University of Stirling

Wallace Monument

Raploch Stirling Castle Train and Bus Station Town Centre The Site



Site Selection Process An important part of our study was to include to a broad spectrum of locations in order to test our model for analysis. In Stirling the two main sources for site selection were the Stirling Local Development Plan: Proposed Plan for 2016, in conjunction with the Stirling Council Vacant Land Audit 2014. It was important to the group to use sites identified for development within Stirling to enhance the reality of the project, as such to integrating the project within a live setting. From these sources a total of thirty sites were identified at a preliminary stage. Following a desk study five sites were eliminated on a basis of vacancy; these sites were already in the process of being developed. As a group the remaining twenty-five sites were visited as short-stop tour of the area to identify feasibility and potential for development. Consequently many sites were eliminated as a result of contextual unsuitability, feasibility, size and recent occupancy. This left us with eleven possible sites upon which to apply a more thorough form of analysis. A simple grading system was applied in order to discount sites using a traffic light tally- green, amber, red. The system pitted ASD building typology against attributes taken from the bank of icons considered important, by the group, to site scoring. The tally system would be totalled up and given a score based on the attributes measured against.. In addition, the group decided that all sites should have a limitation of three typologies based on their suitability for each building type.

Integrated Design Report | Contextual Analysis + Strategy | Page 37

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Clock Tower


19 21.0m








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Wellgreen Gate

A 811






St Columba's Church


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Terraces Hotel






Euro House






Burghmuir Retail Park


Wellgreen 25.7m



Drummond House

Wellgreen House

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Old Viewforth













Car Park




Annfield Lodge




Annfield House



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10 2 Standing Stone


Childrens Nursery


Islay House



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Location plan

Standing Stone





The Lodge


Earlsgate House





Brentham Park House


Day Centre


Geriatric Developing Area Accessibility Local Transport Links Wider Transport Links Pedestrian Routes Close Proximity to city/town centre Proximity to Sports Facilities Proximity to Health Services Proximity to A + E Local Amenities Sense of Community Nature of Surrounding Community Public Funding Rural Context Green Space/ Views Surrounding Building Context Noise Pollution

Integrated Design Report | Contextual Analysis + Strategy | Page 39

The Site Langgarth is situated to the south of Stirling City Centre, and located within the Kings Park Conservation Area. Although close to the centre of Stirling the site feels as though it is in a rural setting, with vast green space, woodlands and expansive views eastwards over the River Forth and views of Stirling Castle to the north-west. Its proximity to the centre gives good accessibility to local facilities. The Stirling Council Court building from the 1940s was previously located in the centre of the site, but was demolished a few years ago leaving a large open green space. The main building on the outlined site boundary is the B-listed Langgarth House and Walled Garden. Designed by William Leiper in 1897 and built in Ashlar, it is designed in a 17th century Lorimer-influenced style. To the East edge of the site is Langgarth Lodge, also designed by Leiper in the 1890s. An asymmetrical lodge designed in the Arts and Crafts style and is thought to be one of the only gatehouses designed by Leiper. Just to the north of the site boundary is Old Viewforth, a B-listed building used by the Stirling Council. The listing includes both the original Victorian Baronial Villa circa 1855, and extension and remodelling in 1871 and 1937. Both the original building and the first extension were built in Ashlar, with the 1930’s extension being built in brick. There are three main points of access to the site: two vehicular routes feed in from the west at St. Ninians Road, whilst a pedestrian footpath leads up from the Burghmuir embankment through woodland. This pedestrian route however is rather steep and may not be appropriate for all pedestrians and cyclists needing to access the site. At the bottom of this path sits a carpark, and then the designated footpath carries along Burghmuir Road towards the town centre. Pedestrian access can also be gained via the St. Ninian’s Road entrances. There are numerous bus routes that run along St. Ninian’s, with stops in both directions. On the whole the site is relatively flat however access from St Ninians Road is approximately 1m below the general expanse of the site, while there is a second ‘tier’ to the site to the south, in front of Langgarth House, which is Integrated Design Report | Contextual Analysis + Strategy | Page 41



1960 Historic Analysis

approximately 2.5m above the main area of the site to the north. There is an obvious source of noise to the site from the adjacent A9 and this must be considered in terms of any development, however this is buffered to an extent by the vegetation between the site and the road.

Integrated Design Report | Contextual Analysis + Strategy | Page 43

Integrated Design Report | Contextual Analysis + Strategy | Page 45


Views: Something as simple as a view to the outdoors can relieve stress and reduce anxiety of service users.

Natural environment: An environment must be familiar; moving away from an institutionalised feel.

Garden spaces: Enjoyable exterior spaces encourage outdoor learning and experimentation. These spaces can also create a calming environment.

Natural environment: An environment must be familiar; moving away from an institutionalised feel.

Integration: Integrating those affected by ASD into society improves awareness, and acceptance, whilst also helping to enable a more ‘normal’ life.


Interaction: Social discourse between those with autism and the rest of society improves public perception and acceptance.

Accessibility + Proximity

Sense of Community: A sense of community within the development as well as with the local community is key.

Retail facilities: Local retail facilities will allow service users to use there and help with integration into the community.

Transport links: A variety of transport links providing connections with facilities and family within the area and further afield.

Strategy The strategic urban, and design, response is to continue to develop a model for designing ASD specific typologies; in particular dealing with the rising demand for Geriatric and Elderly ASD specific facilities within Scotland, and further afield. Combining Geriatric and Elderly Care with a public face in the form of a day centre will increase awareness while also providing the specialist facilities that are much needed. The model would seek to respond to the site specific conditions while also offering a design approach that could be replicated to suit further developments of the typology. A number of massing studies were conducted in-order to give an early indication of scale within the site. These were ASD services that had been visited as a group, surrounding context and examples of good social housing (see over the page).

Integrated Design Report | Contextual Analysis + Strategy | Page 47

Seniors House (Aarhus, Denmark) - Housing for 4 elderly Autistic service users on a single level.

Old Viewforth, Court House (Previously on site, demolished 2015) - 6 storeys in height

Post-war Housing (Surrounding context) - Mixed housing, typically 2 storeys.

Accordia Housing Development (Cambridge, United Kingdom) - Mixed housing, vary from 2 - 3 storeys Integrated Design Report | Contextual Analysis + Strategy | Page 49

Precedent Analysis

Master-planning + Site Strategy Project: Accordia Housing Development Architect: Alison Brook Architects + Fielding, Clegg, Bradley Location: Cambridge, United Kingdom The design includes a variety of innovative house and apartment types in the form of terraces, courtyard houses and ‘set-piece’ apartment buildings, composed within public landscaped gardens, which balances usable private space within an overall structure of high quality space. The use of a natural and restrained materials palate while maintained individual identity is key. The design replaces traditional gardens with a variety of private open spaces such as courtyards, roof terraces and large balconies. A mixture of house and apartment types weaves into the fabric of these spaces in the form of terraces, courtyard houses and set-piece apartment buildings. The scheme also adopts a holistic approach to environmental design, creating a well-rounded and sustainable complex.

Integrated Design Report | Precedent Analysis | Page 53

Integrated Design Report | Precedent Analysis | Page 55

Project: Great Kneighton Housing Architect: Proctor and Matthews Location: Cambridge, England Great Kneighton is a new housing and mixed-use development in South Cambridge. The design consists of a hierarchy of spaces and housing types to suit the transition from urban to rural edge. This gives form to the existing infrastructure and a sense of arrival at the entrance to the neighbourhood, before moving sequentially towards a more relaxed morphology that addresses the adjacent countryside. At the entrance to the scheme stand two apartment marker buildings set within a formal and structured court - a reference to the urban form of Cambridge colleges. Together with new landscaping, the large formal ‘Great Court,’ (with proportions and scale to match Trinity College) visually absorbs the existing highways infrastructure and provides a suitable gateway. Beyond the Great Court is a series of mews terraces. The use of brick here echoes the Great Court, while their more modest scale provides a sense of transition. Each house in the mews has a ground level rear garden space with a raised courtyard terrace at first floor. A series of parallel green connecting lanes run perpendicular to the terraces, creating pleasant shared spaces between the houses. These ‘landscape ribbons’ also provide a linear route through the development, connecting the formal landscape of the Great Court to the plantation and open countryside at the neighbourhood edge. A further transition takes place at the rear of the site, where black timbered dwellings (a reference to local agricultural typologies) establish loose clusters of smaller two and three storey homes. The ‘Green Lanes’ zone seeks to create a village atmosphere, and provides a range of two to five bedroom homes for both private and affordable tenures. The houses sit within private walled gardens and generously-planted shared spaces. Compared with the strong urban language of the Great Court, the aim here is to achieve relaxed ‘urban erosion’ at the boundary of the development. It includes extensive strategic open space, accompanying provision of education facilities, sports and recreation, health and community facilities and local shopping facilities

Integrated Design Report | Precedent Analysis | Page 57

Le Vallon Sesame

Project: Courtyard Housing Architect: Patel Taylor Location: London, England A new estate of one and two-bedroom affordable homes suited to the needs of over-65s in Barking and Dagenham. All were required to be fully wheelchair accessible and to comply with current national and local planning policy guidance. So different sectors of our community – the elderly, residents requiring family housing and those in need of an adapted property – are catered for by this development. The homes have been built with residents’ future needs in mind. Should they at a later stage in their lives need to use a wheelchair, they will not need to move home. As all properties are fully accessible, this will allow the resident to have full use of their home and give them a better quality of family life for the entire tenancy of the property. The scheme is based on the concept of the traditional English almshouse, where disused sites and accommodation are provided by charitable bodies for people of retirement age who are unable to support themselves. As seen in the across image each home has a large chimney and box windows facing out to a shared space.

“This demonstrates that thoughtful design can provide high-quality social housing on a budget” The Architect Integrated Design Report | Precedent Analysis | Page 59

Autism + Ageing Project: Seniors House Architect: Wienburg Architects + Frier Architecture Location: Aarhus, Denmark The idea is to break down barriers with gentle transitions instead of the usual severe boundaries that people with ASD often react to. A key design feature of is the cranked corridor which links the spaces, this engages the residents and allows them to explore while feeling a level of security and comfort. Colour and materiality were identified as essential at the beginning of the design process with the architects’ focus on user involvement and interaction. The colour green was chosen by the residents to underpin the overall design in terms of legibility and its properties: “Outside, the façades are green so that the building helps to reinstate the green area, because there was already a small site to build on.This colour counter-acts a feeling of confinement and helps to create a holistic, tranquil feel.The colour also supports the intention of a soft, welcoming environment.” MetteWienberg, architect Colour is also used to identify the transitions between common spaces to individual private dwellings and defines a ‘safe zone’ threshold spatial device between residents’ personal apartments and the adjacent communal circulation space. The small sheltered thresholds are created in order to make the transition for residents’ from the outside world into care easier. A small bench outside their flat where they can sit and feel part of their micro community encourages communication and inclusion between residents, acting as an interstitial device between private and communal. Changes in ceiling height and materiality are employed to further reinforce the idea of transition and spatial difference providing subtle changes demarcating private and communal- in residents’ flats the ceiling height is lowered and thus feels more private in contrast to the communal circulation zone which is higher and more open. Planted vegetation is situated outside each apartment to further develop the link to nature and outside/inside. Residents’ flats are deliberately designed to be open-plan ensuring spatial flexibility and modest in size. Thinking about the specific needs of elderly ASD service users, permanent furniture has been kept to a minimum, instead integrating movable cupboards, wardrobes and room dividers that maximise flexibility within each flat. This provides the opportunity at any time if needed of reordering the flats depending on the needs of the residents. In combination with carefully chosen materials like bamboo flooring, each apartment creates a real sense Integrated Design Report | Precedent Analysis | Page 61


Staff offices

Living room / kitchen

1. Corridor view to living room / kitchen

2. “Old-fashioned stable doors�

3. Internal flat view

4. Corridor kitchen

Corridor kitchen (4)

Curved circulation space

Shared entrance space (1)

Flat (2,3)

of home. Each flat is however personalised to its resident so that it does not create an institutional feeling- the lowered ceiling heights just one example of this creating warmer, more personal spaces. A design feature of Seniors House is the cranked corridor which lines the internal edge of the building, acting as spatial buffer connecting inside and outside, separating private, internal spaces with the shared, more public, external courtyard. Ensuring inclusion, interaction between residents’ in using communal spaces was a main aim of the architects’ and this has been achieved by the circulation corridor. Corridors are so often utilitarian in their design however with Seniors House this is not the case. The corridor not only links the whole complex in one cranked band but also includes spill-out communal spaces intermittently throughout, encouraging this idea of inclusion and interaction between residents. The corridor is deliberately designed as over-sized, creating a more welcoming and friendly space than would be expected of a corridor. Constant visual links to the internal courtyard, solidify the link to nature and instil as sense of calm, whilst light-wells permeate the depth of the zone, reiterating the warmth and openness of the space. Additionally, the corridor encourages resident’s curiosity and movement around the building, cranked at obtuse angles to provide clear sight lines throughout and creating ‘niches’ and alcoves.

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“Everyone deserves good design” LMS Architects

External view

Care for ASD Project: Sweetwater Spectrum Community Architect: Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects Location: California, US Established by a group of California families, the aim of the project was to create a high-quality, innovative long-term housing solution for adults with ASD. Designed for sixteen adults, the new community centre incorporates ASD specific design. Universal Design and Sustainable Design strategy comes together as one. With focus on residents’ development and independence the Sweetwater Spectrum Design acts as an exemplar for design within the fastgrowing national housing crisis for adults with autism. Designed by Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects, the complex offers to its’ residents and their support staff four houses, a community centre, therapy pool and fitness suite, teaching kitchen, and urban farm. The location of the site was carefully chosen so that it integrates into an existing supportive community, good public transport links and is within walking distance of the town centre. “We wanted to design a place of calm and clarity with a strong connection to nature.Those are universal attributes anyone can relate to.” The links to the Wider Community together with the support of the City of Sonoma provides residents with the opportunity to participate in various volunteering programs, part-time jobs, classes and feel confident and welcome not only in the community centre. Offering a variety of participation (volunteering jobs; employment; day programs) and city-based activities (attend Farmer’s market; bike to the town; go to festivals), a close connection with the wider community has had a positive impact on the residents of the complex. “As parents get older, the question invariably becomes, ‘what will happen to my child?’ Marsha Maytum, (Director, Leddy Maytum Stacy) The orientation of the one storey units are situated on the site to allow the residents to have a visual connection to the farm, private courtyards, terraces and gardens. Working closely with ASD service users, the buildings are carefully arranged on an east-west axis, creating a series of outdoor spaces, allowing each of the residents to interact on a level they find most comfortable.

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External view to the Courtyard

External view

Internal Visualisation

Internal Visualisation

In addition, the design of the site lines enabe direct views into spaces, so that the community members can get a sense of a room before entering- providing reassurance. The congruent factors of the orientation of the buildings on the site with the simple flat and pitch-roofed structures provide indirect daylighting to avoid direct glare. A key element in the design was the landscape. The network of rock gardens, seating areas and a low-lying landscape through the complex is from high importance for the needs of the residents. A progression of garden areas leads from public, to semi-private, to private spaces. Bespoke benches allow people to sit back to back, creating possibilities for social interaction without eye contact. The design of the four houses is almost identical to allow residents to feel comfortable whilst reassured, creating a sense of similarity when visiting one another and for transitioning purposes if a resident is required to be relocated. Most of the elements of the design are paired (e.g. a bedrooms are mirrored in plan, separated by a living room) to prevent larger groups of people which may become overwhelming. The houses themselves are positioned in pairs also, with two sets surrounding the community centre. The house design provides flexibility for both short and long term, including common areas like kitchen, dining space, living room, terraces, en-suite bedrooms. By contrast, the community centre consists of activity spaces, library, fitness suite, teaching kitchen, allowing service users clear navigation through spaces and visual interaction. Externally, the cladding used is a mixture of timber panels and grey-toned cement boards, while internal surfaces include blond-wood ceilings and a mixture of carpeted and hard floors. Integrated Design Report | Precedent Analysis | Page 67

Project: Psychiatric Hospital Architect: CREO ARKITEKTER Location: Ballerup, Denmark Reminiscent of a small village,” the prize-winning scheme steps away from the typical hospital typology to propose a dense cluster of gabled structures connected by therapeutic green space. The proposal fits the extension subtly and respectfully into the existing context… It adds a gable motif that opens the communal spaces towards the surrounding park and landscape and at the same time frames terraces and balconies. The committee finds that this simple move adds a subtle, non-institutional appearance with strong positive references to low-dense housing projects of very high quality. The proposal for the new Psychiatric Centre is based on a humanistic approach. The ambition is to create a tranquil space for a vulnerable group of patients and relatives combined with an optimal framework for the staff. The human scale and the worthy meeting between people are reflected in a building that is subdivided into smaller sections. The sections are arranged in a chequerboardlike pattern. Each of them has a designated lush garden. The institutional hospital has been replaced by a centre that emphasises empathy and openness. The building combines efficiency and a functional interior with an architecture that provides patients with personalised and non-institutional experience through a constant presence of green spaces. “The downplayed choice of materials witnesses a high level of detailing at the current state as well as a great level of understanding of discrete and downplayed architectural and aesthetical effects.The building is fitted both in an unobtrusive and low-keyed manner into the existing structure and adds a contemporary and emphatic architectural expression.”

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Adult Autism Inpatient Unit Architect: Medical Architecture Location: Mitford, England Mitford provides inpatient support and treatment for adults with severely complex autistic spectrum disorders. The building provides care for up to 15 adults, in single and shared flats within four ‘fingers’ of accommodation. It is the first building in the UK specifically designed for this service-user group and is a pioneering project, requiring client driven design standards. The client recognised the correlation between the environment and positive outcomes for people with autism. Evidence suggests that the condition is exacerbated by the wrong environment. This inevitably results in an increase in challenging or disturbed behaviour, leading to increased levels of risk and an inability of service providers or carers to cope. The typical care pathway for these patients involves a stay of 18 months – two years, during which individual stimuli and appropriate therapies are identified, before returning to the community. Design drivers include attention to the graduation from public to private space, addressing the vulnerability of each patient. The thresholds from each flat to the circulation space, and progress from there to shared therapy spaces, are all carefully considered to encourage the patient and avoid conflicts with fellow service users. “A real example of the powerful and positive impact of the environment!” Steve Naylor, Projeeco Wide, organically-shaped circulation spaces encourage movement but offer a measure of privacy and ‘safe’ window seats. All the flats are oriented to the east for a comfortable internal environment, with direct access to the private gardens to support the therapeutic needs of individuals. The roof form provides generous overhangs at each garden access door, increasing the usability of the external space. The ‘fingers’ of accommodation are linked at their southern end by a band of shared spaces. This front-ofhouse accommodation is organised to carefully protect the privacy of the patients, and allow the staff to work efficiently with minimal journeys around the facility. Integrated Design Report | Precedent Analysis | Page 71

Care for Dementia Project: Home for Senior Citizens Architect: Peter Zumthor Location: Chur, Switzerland Instead of a hallway this space is more like a long living room which has been subtly parcelled by the repetition of the apartments and by the personal furniture of the inhabitants, although in an unobtrusive way and keeping a communitarian sense in the space. The twenty-two ats of the residential development for the elderly in Masans near Chur are occupied by senior citizens still able to run their own households, but happy to use the services offered by the nursing home behind their own building. The residents are welcome to furnish as they please their section of the large entrance porch to the east, which they overlook from their kitchen windows, and they make ample use of this opportunity. The sheltered balcony niches and the living room bow (bay) windows on the other side face west, up the valley, towards the setting sun. Tufa and glass cover most of the facade; larch wood is used for the framing of openings and the interior panelling; exposed concrete at fewer points reminds us of the existence of a physical structure. And it is that the real structure of this building is social which is ultimately expressed in its spatial configuration. The entrance leads into a large common space that distributes the inhabitants into their personal living units. Instead of a hallway this space is more like a long living room which has been subtly parcelled by the repetition of the apartments and by the personal furniture of the inhabitants, although in an unobtrusive way and keeping a communitarian sense in the space.

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Hogeweyk Dementia Care Architect: Miller & Globe & VanDillen Location: Weesp, Netherlands Around the common and familiar building blocks lifestyles are built from a social approach. Look at day to day life and create conditions for the residents so that they are challenged by recognisable incentives to remain active in daily life. In the nursing home groups of up to seven residents with shared interests and backgrounds live together in a lifestyle-group. The design and decoration of the homes and surroundings is tailored to the lifestyles. In Hogewey’s opinion people with dementia should be able to live their lives the way they were used to, with the support and services they want. Continuing the residents lifestyle is the starting point. This is facilitated by letting the residents choose from seven different lifestyles the one that fits them best. The lifestyles encompass views on work, living, consumption and leisure. The lifestyles offered match the ones they used to have. The public spaces and area surrounding the houses are important for the Hogeweyk design. These spaces have qualities found in historical villages and cities. A variety of blocks have been designed to build the plan. Squares, streets, gardens, buildings, water and objects were designed create a recognisable atmosphere. The architecture of the houses corresponds with the interior spaces as well as the public spaces, making the architecture serve as an intermediary between the different scales. Households are grouped, designed and decorated to reflect one of seven lifestyles, so that the person with dementia feels they are among ‘like-minded’ people. The seven lifestyles, which have been validated to reflect groupings within Dutch society, are Traditional: for people whose pride and identity came from carrying out a traditional profession or managing a small business; City: for people who were at the centre of urban life; ‘Het Gooi’: named after an area near Weesp, for people who attach importance to correct manners, etiquette and external appearance; Cultural: for people who love art and culture; Christian: practising your own religion forms an important part of daily life; Indonesian: life in the part of the world covered by the former Dutch East Indies is a collective memory and determines the daily routines to a large extent; Homely: caring for the family and household are important, just like a traditional lifestyle.

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Community Building Project: Newmains Community Centre Architect: NORR Location: Newmains, Scotland North Lanarkshire Council wanted to incorporate their housing offices and a library. The remaining accommodation included a community cafÊ, IT suite, large multi-purpose hall, meeting rooms, youth centre and offices. The form of the building recognises the local vernacular and offers a simple brick building with pitched slate roof whilst presenting a modern solution to the local community. The building curves between two main roads offering a pedestrian link and focal point to Newmains Town Centre. The large glazed frontages and landscaped seating areas offer a civic presence to the high street which underlines the building’s use. The building was designed to be flexible ensuring all spaces could be lettable at all times, with the main hall allowing dance lessons, conferences, weddings and discos. Tightening up the plan layout to push building regulations to maximum in respect of escape distances, room capacities etc. therefore ensuring the building was as ergonomic as possible. Choice of robust, energy efficient materials reducing potential for vandalism and maintenance. Use of energy efficient systems such as heat reclamation within its air tight skin reduces ongoing energy costs. The client wanted a building that sat at the heart of the community and was sufficiently different to be noticed but still adhered to a traditional built form typical of the domestic area it occupied.

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Brief Appraisal + Development

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Brief The Client and Requirements The prospective client for the proposal are Scottish Autism. Scottish Autism were established in 1968 by a group of parents, they are now the largest provider of care for ASD in Scotland, covering 29 out of 32 Local authorities. They engage with people from the early stages of diagnosis, all throughout people’s lifetimes. For those with ASD, Scottish Autism provide care and support to enable them to live a full and enriched life. Scottish Autism have a range of existing facilities within the area, and further afield. As mentioned previously a highly underprovided services, both within Stirling and nationwide is care for elderly, possibly geriatric, autistic service users. A large proportion of the ageing population, what could be coined as the “forgotten generation” were not diagnosed with ASD when they were younger for several different reasons. It could have been that the research simply was not there or that the condition itself was entirely dismissed. As there is not an abundance of information on the subject it has massively impacted the value of ASD care in the elderly. Autism as a condition, independent from anything other condition, can be incredibly challenging to work with but if you have ASD as well as other conditions attributed to old age (such as arthritis or dementia) it makes life even more challenging. In this case some ASD symptoms may be missed and overlooked in reference to other illnesses connected with old age. Many elderly people become entirely dependant on care and their surroundings need to enable them to enjoy their life and live comfortably. Purpose built provisions for ASD services in Scotland are limited, with Elderly ASD facilities in the country currently being non-existent. The demand is most definitely there for this type of facility. From research conducted by NAS Scotland (National Autistic Society Scotland) statistics state that 1 in 5 people with ASD in Scotland are over the age of 60. Programme Needs A number of common criteria appear when comparing the needs of those with ASD to those with age related illnesses such as Dementia and Alzheimer’s. Integrated Design Report | Brief Appraisal + Development | Page 81

These were compiled from group work relating to ASD design criteria and individual desk studies investigating age related illnesses such as dementia and arthritis. These are listed below: •

Domestic and home like

Providing scope for ordinary activities (unit kitchens, washing lines, garden sheds)

Include unobtrusive safety features

Have rooms for different functions with furniture and fittings familiar to the age and generation of the residents

Provide a safe outside space

Have single rooms big enough for a reasonable amount of personal belongings

Good signage and multiple cues where possible (e.g. sight, smell, sound; use of objects rather than text for orientation)

Enhanced visual access

Control of stimuli, especially noise

Programme Aspirations + Considerations The aim is to produce a design that deals with all of the issues noted above and to provide an environment where the users can enhance their life. Adultswithautism1.aspx Integrated Design Report | Brief Appraisal + Development | Page 83

Spatial arrangements - Housing for elderly

Spatial arrangements - Day Centre

Spatial arrangements - External space

Brief Housing for the elderly: Living unit: Bedroom

15 m²


5 m²


5 m²

Sitting room

25 m²

Staff base (one per 2/4 unit)

Office (x2 Desks)

10 m²


5 m²

Bedroom (x1 Bed)

12 m²

Outdoor space:


125 m²

Polly tunnels

30 m²

Day center: Reception/Entrance

25 m²

Main Room

50 m²

Activity room (x2)

25 m²

Café/Dining space

50 m²

Sensory room

10 m²

Meeting room (x2)

10 m²

Staff base:

Office (x4 Desks)

15 m²


5 m²

Outdoor space:


30 m²

Shared spaces: Plant room Outdoor space: Sensory garden (Shared with Housing) 100 m²

Staff parking spaces

15 (Approx.)

Carpool parking spaces

10 (Approx.)

Visitor parking spaces

5 (Approx.)

Integrated Design Report | Brief Appraisal + Development | Page 85

Key: Entrance area Kitchenette Living room Bedroom En-suite External area Standard living unit

Informal ‘meandering’ corridor to prompt exploration and engage service users

Building edge condition - formal / informal

Formal ‘courtyard’ gives a clear spatial arrangement to put service users at ease

External greenspace - formal / informal edge conditions

Key: Social space Living unit

Cluster of 4 - Informal

Cluster of 2 - Formal

Initial Strategy A mix of Formal + Informal Edge conditions internally and externally will allow for a variety of different spatial conditions and circulation options allowing for the greatest flexibility and adaptability to service users requirements.

Integrated Design Report | Brief Appraisal + Development | Page 87

Initial response

Outline Design - A mix of formal and informal spatial choices

Development Outline Design Review The strategic urban response responds to the specific context and issues identified in the group’s analytical urban study. The individual response to the selected is to be informed by urban design theories, historical and contemporary ideas & precedents, and by the specific legislative and development guidance considered in the group stages; synthesising the analytical content described above and informed by the brief developed within the studio unit. The proposed site is situated in close proximity to a strong community based market town which allows us to integrate future service users into an already established neighbourhood providing much needed new social links. Creating spaces within the site also allows for the development of a supporting internal community providing residents with security and a sense of belonging. The natural environment of the site is to be retained as much as possible and extended into green public and private areas to encourage social interaction and horticultural activity. These areas could, through considered placement, be used as sound buffers against unwanted outside traffic noise. The nature of caring for individuals with autism requires a strong support network and appropriate places within close proximity for staffing requirements was a key element within the strategy.

Integrated Design Report | Brief Appraisal + Development | Page 89

Very formal approach to suit some service users

Semi formal approach using site geometry

Continuation from initial response

Geometry rationalised to suit brief Integrated Design Report | Brief Appraisal + Development | Page 91

Additional units added to east

Masterplan introduced to address urban context

Scheme Design Review As the scheme has progressed additional units added to east and a masterplan introduced is to address urban context to the west along St. Ninians Road. This responds to the dwellings across the road. The additional units crates a variety of different types of housing to cater to the varying needs of those with ASD. The units to the east being more informal to respond to the trees to that side of the site.

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Density increased and geometry rationalised

Circulation used to create safe space

Interim Design Review The density of the masterplan to the south is increased and the units to the east have been rationalised to create a formal garden space to the centre with informal garden space to the east. To the west buildings respond to the street edge. Circulation is used to create safe and secure spaces and allow for safe routes around the site.

Integrated Design Report | Brief Appraisal + Development | Page 95

“Auditory and tactile input often overwhelmed me. Loud noise hurt my ears.When noise and sensory stimulation became too intense, I was able to shut off my hearing and retreat into my own world.” Grandin, 1996

“Many descriptions of autism and Asperger’s describe people like me as ‘not wanting contact with others’ or ‘preferring to playalong’...but I’d like to be very clear about my own feelings: I did not ever want to be alone. I played by myself because I was a failure at playing with others. I was alone as a result of my own limitations, and being alone was one of the bitterest disappointments of my young life.” John Elder Robison Autistic adult from Arizona

Do, Consider + Avoid The organisation and quality of the spaces we use and interact with can have a great impact on the way that we feel and on our overall health and wellbeing. This sensitivity to space can be exacerbated when designing in the context of autism. From considerable research throughout the Programme Analysis and our Urban Analysis aspects of the our environment and our surrounding environment can have both a positive and negative impact on our senses; sometimes calming and soothing and conversely creating confusion and sometimes fear. It is our aim to create a calm, stress-free environment that are structured and considered, tailor made to the needs and requirements of its services users. Through our extensive research we have extracted a number of key facets to aid in our design decisions in order to create the most suitable environment that can not only positively impact on its users but allow the individuals to prosper and encourage development and growth. These features have been split up into four design categories as follows: •

Site + Massing

Plan + Layout

Materiality + Colour

Environmental Consideration

Within each category each facet is grouped under the following headings: Do Identified features that are within this category are ideal design facets that should be incorporated in all individual designs. These are features that should be either a necessity or a requirement for ASD design. Consider Identified features within this category are facets that should be considered within individual design projects. These are optional design moves that should be thought through when designing for ASD. Avoid Identified features within this category are facets that should not be included within any individual designs. These are features that impact negatively when designing for ASD and are therefore undesirable. Integrated Design Report | Brief Appraisal + Development | Page 97




Site + Massing Selecting the right neighbourhood and site is a critical first step in developing housing for people with ASD. Issues to consider include access to amenities and transportation and the potential for residents to be integrated into an existing community. Do •

Link to Community - All developments should actively aspire to integrate with the local community. Personal investment in ASD stems from links with local communities, encouraging acceptance, awareness, discussion and thus funding and fund raising. This connection will also work on the social aspect of inclusion, knitting the ASD community into the existing local community- solidifying the development within its context.

Security - Secure environments are a must for those with autism. Providing secure environments limits anxiety; thus positively contributing to learning and confidence building whilst providing a calm, controlled setting.

Consider •

Car parking - Site layout should consider the provision for on-site car parking. The planning of access to site will be affected by the positioning of these facilities therefore this should be regarded through the design process. Cars can be a distraction and a danger for individuals with autism and can also cause unnecessary anxiety.

Noise - Can be a constant disruption

Overlooking - The impact of overlooking should be considered both by the surrounding context of site and within the internal spatial arrangements and planning of any development. Overlooking can negatively impact on service users’ privacy.

On-site Activities - Consider the location on-site activities within any development. Though this limits exposure to the outside world it provides services that are in close proximity that can help encourage steps towards an independent life out-with care and assistance whilst within the safe confines of a familiar environment where appropriate behaviour and social cues can be learnt. Many with autism struggle to form relationships, on-site activities will help residents develop better interpersonal skills, promoting interaction with others.

Future Provision - Strategies should consider adaptability and future requirements. Due to the limited provision for ASD facilities generally, sites should consider the possibility for future growth and Integrated Design Report | Brief Appraisal + Development | Page 99

the need for future development and expansion. •

Low Density - Single storey / low density massing is encouraged to allow accessibility for service users and service providers. Consideration to acoustics and the use of stairs should be undertaken if proposing two or more storeys.


Possible On-site Development Provision - Consider the possibility of allowing areas of the site, if parameters allow, to be left for possible development. Having outside development within the same site can further create a sense of community whilst also providing funding and diversity.

Avoid •

High Density - High concentrations of people and level of activity related to high density massing is detrimental when designing for ASD. For individuals with autism six to eight service users per housing cluster is recommended thus high density massing is inappropriate.

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Plan + Layout Plan and Massing should encourage choice, autonomy and independence for users. Attention to connectivity within the floor plan and its impact on navigation will lead to a more effective use of all spaces. Individuals with ASD commonly experience physical function difficulties therefore it is an important design consideration to maintain single level housing, secure levelled flooring and wide circulation. Open spaces can lead to confusion therefore the use of clearly defined areas within the plan allow for comprehensible use and navigating through these spaces could be aided with the inclusion of a curved wall or visual prompts. Public and private areas should be indicated clearly to avoid dead-ends and hidden corners, this is to eliminate unnecessary sensory overload. Density of housing should also be kept to a minimum. Do •

Flexible Spaces - It is important to have spaces that are flexible and adaptable. Due to the nature of autism no one person is the same therefore all individuals have varying needs that are often very different from one person to another. Providing spaces that are flexible is therefore of great importance.

Wide circulation - Confined spaces for movement can be perturbing for service users whilst providing space in communal areas such as circulation zones combats disruption and claustrophobia when passing others. Additionally, individuals with autism often have associated disabilities that must be facilitated for. Wide circulation spaces for wheelchair users and individuals with other mobility issues are therefore a necessity.

Public / Private Zoning - The overall site strategy should clearly define public and private zones in order to delineate spatial boundaries and provide order for service users. This allows users to have ownership of their own private space and empowers them with the choice of entering public, communal spaces, avoiding stress and confusion.

Compartmentalise Spaces - Different rooms and spaces require differing environmental conditions depending on the use, activity or requirements of the individuals therefore it is important that any spatial layout is zoned appropriately and ordered as such. Additionally, compartmentalising public, communal spaces from private spaces separates high stimulus from low stimulus, creating further clarity of space.

Links to Nature / Outside - Views to natural environments are important when designing for ASD. Views out to garden spaces are linked to health and wellbeing but also creating calm and tranquillity. Links to nature and interaction with nature through sensory gardens, play areas and gardening activity spaces Integrated Design Report | Brief Appraisal + Development | Page 103




strengthens this link to the outdoors and promotes care for the natural environment.

Generous Spaces - Providing generous amounts of space, particularly in communal areas, in ASD design is key. Allowing space creates an element of control for the individual to choose the level of interaction or inclusion that they are comfortable in, whilst also feeling open and clear of clutter.

Transition - Transitioning between spaces is a key component to spatial design. This must be as seamless as possible, allowing flow between spaces throughout any development. Interruptions in circulation or fragmented spatial relationship can create disruption and increase levels of anxiety in service users. Like threshold, transition spaces should be signified subtly utilising changes in colour and / or materiality.

Social Inclusion - Spatial organisations should provide opportunities for social inclusion and interaction for service users at a variety of different levels.

Threshold - Defining clear spatial boundaries in the form of thresholds is of great importance in spatial recognition and legibility for individuals with autism. This can be signified by changes in colour, ceiling height or materiality and acts as a clear differentiator between spaces.

Consider •

Response Times - Consideration of the time required for assistance and the routes required to reach spaces is necessary in spatial planning. Due to the various difficulties and complications associated with autism, spatial planning should allow for quick response times for service providers to avoid prolonged periods of discomfort that may lead to stress.

Natural Environment - Providing as natural an environment as possible is beneficial to how individuals with ASD use and interact within their environments. This can create a sense of calm and ease which positively impacts on service users. An environment must be familiar; moving away from an artificial, institutionalised feel.

Acoustics - Consideration should be given to acoustics internally; ambient noise levels should be reduced as much as possible. Building systems and appliances designed for quietness should be selected and soundproofing insulation in ceiling and walls should be increased.

Escape times - Thought should be given to the escape and escape times in spatial planning. Due to the nature of autism, service users often take longer to comprehend the process of what to do in the event Integrated Design Report | Brief Appraisal + Development | Page 105

of a fire or a fire alarm and can become panicked and anxious. Consideration should be given to providing routes that are as short as possible for escape to limit confusion and provide clear spatial arrangement to aid in escape.

Way-finding - The clarity of circulation using sensory cues such as clear signage should be considered throughout any design aiding in the legibility of space for service users.

Spatial Sequencing - Sequential spatial planning provides clarity for individuals and works to break down the ambiguity of circulating in and around buildings. Spaces should relate to one another and not include any ‘surprises’ or features that might unsettle users.

Challenges - Incorporating challenges within spatial layouts and landscaping can be a learning catalyst for living in unassisted, independent learning. Encountering these challenges within controlled, supported environments builds confidence and awareness in overcoming difficulties.

Avoid •

Tight Circulation - Avoid narrow corridors as they are too tight and can become very stressful spaces for individuals with autism. In circulation spaces people are often concentrated within one space and passing can be too close for certain individuals with autism. Being forced into social interaction or a loss of personal space can over stimulate and cause high levels of angst.

Cluttered Space - Avoid creating physical environments that are cluttered as this can over stimulate the senses and confuse service users, negatively impacting on their health and wellbeing.

Dead Ends - Avoid dead ends which cause confusion and a sense of entrapment for service users. Prevent maze like circulation that leads nowhere as this will impact negatively on individuals with autism.

Hidden Spaces - Avoid hidden spaces and blind corners where possible. These can cause anxiety and discourage individuals from social inclusion and exploration. Do not create spaces without visual connections. In circulation spaces, for example, right angled corners can be problematic as there is ambiguity as to what lies round the corner.

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Materiality + Colour The choice of materials and their constituent properties within buildings can have a substantial impact on a person with ASD’s whole experience in a space. It could be the consequential distinguishing factor between someone feeling stressed and fearful to having a calm and enjoyable time. With this is mind, thoughts towards materials and finishes should ideally be considered from the initial stages of designing for Autism. Do •

Pastel Colours - Muted matt colours are inoffensive and work to create calm, harmonious environments through low level stimulus arousal.

Sensory Impact - Designing with all of the senses in mind is particularly relevant when designing for ASD. Individuals with ASD fall under two main headings; hyper-sensitive or hypo-sensitive senses, meaning the smallest noise or texture can have a highly negative impact. Thus the sensory environment of each space must be considered thoroughly.

Conceal Services - Masking services leaves spaces uncluttered and creates environments more conducive to learning that eliminates distractions for service users. Additionally, this acts as a prevention method for damage during an episode or period of frustration/ boredom.

Home from Home Feel - Consistency and continuity are vital when designing for ASD. Familiar materials and colour schemes that create a warm homely environment rather than an institutional environment should put individuals at ease and make for a smoother transition when adapting to a new environments.

Durability - Due to unpredictable behaviour of individuals with autism, elements of the home can be easily damaged. Materials should therefore be durable and designed to resist heavy wear.

Easy to clean - It is important for materials and surfaces to be easy to clean to avoid the build up of dirt and germs. Due to the nature of some individuals with ASD accidents are inevitable therefore materials and surfaces which are easy to clean are most suitable.

Consider •

Easily repaired - In the likely case of inevitable damage, design elements should be easily repaired or replaced. Eg. carpet tiles are more effective than a fitted carpet as individual tiles can be replaced.

Tactility of Space - People with autism are particularly sensory driven individuals, with touch and feel a major part of how they interpret and interact with environments. Integrated Design Report | Brief Appraisal + Development | Page 109



Materiality + Colour - Maintaining a neutral palette has a calming effect so as not to overwhelm the senses of service users. Sparing use of vibrant colours can indicate hierarchy.

Heat / Fire resistance - Consider the properties of materials and finishes so as not endanger building users. These should be fire retardant and heat resistant where possible.

Safety impact - Many individuals with autism have a distorted sense or no sense of danger. When designing for ASD always consider anything that could be a potential safety hazard.

Avoid •

Sensory Overloading - Generally avoid creating environments that may over stimulate. Over stimulation can have profound negative impact on individuals with ASD, which if not dealt with appropriately, can lead to regression.

Vibrant Colours - Bold vibrant colours should be circumvented as they could overload the senses of autistic service users and may be a source of distress and irritation.

Breakable Materials - Avoid designing with materials that may break easily. This could endanger service users and lead to unsafe, inappropriate environments.

Integrated Design Report | Brief Appraisal + Development | Page 111



Environmental Considerations The organisation and quality of the spaces around us can have such an impact on the way we interact and feel. We know from accounts of people with ASD, how aspects of the environment can assault their senses and create confusion and fear. We aim to create a calm and structured environment with careful consideration to the service users day to day regime. Do •

Well Ventilated - Utilising mechanical, natural or a combination of both, all spaces must be well ventilated in order to maintain a clean, healthy environment that reduces unwanted smells and stale air which could have a negative impact on service users.

Well / Evenly Lit Spaces - All spaces should utilise even and/or diffused natural light as well as artificial light that can be easily controlled to suit the needs and requirement of the individual users. Control is key and flexible lighting combinations are therefore necessary.

Indirect Lighting - Direct lighting can be too severe for individuals with autism given their sensory dispositiontherefore other methods of indirect, ambient lighting are required. Methods of indirect lighting include clerestory glazing and sky-lighting spaces.

Avoid •

Poor Lighting - Artificial lighting in the form of fluorescent, tungsten or halogen lighting has been proven to have a negative impact on individuals with autism due to flickering and continuous humming or buzzing.

Direct Sunlight - Due to hyper-sensitivity or hyposensitivity that is prevalent in those with autism, too much intense direct sunlight or glare can cause distress and impact negatively on the individual.

Stuck- On Fixtures - Avoid where possible any wall fixtures such as paintings or picture frames. In times of an episode or an outburst of stress these can be damaged, consequently endangering the safety of the user. Traditional fittings such as wall hung radiators and hanging overhead lights can be a safety hazard to individuals with autism also.

Integrated Design Report | Brief Appraisal + Development | Page 113

Te c h n i c a l S t r a t e g y + R e s o l u t i o n

Integrated Design Report | Technical Strategy + Resolution | Page 119

Structural Strategy The primary structure within the ASD Housing is masonry walls with timber scissor joist roof structure. The walls are clad with a buff brick to reflect the local sandstone material; this is connected back to the structure with metal wall-ties. Plywood sheeting is used as sheer bracing to stabilize the timber joists. Insulation is then placed on top before the zinc cladding is installed. A ‘lean-to’ timber structure forms the circulation space. This is clad in timber to contrast the solid living units.

Environmental Considerations When considering environmental options it is important to understand the needs of the hypersensitive ASD clients. Where we may like to sit in the sun and use solar gain to our advantage this may be highly distressing for those with ASD. Within the proposal a number of environmental options were considered: Mechanical ventilation and Heat Recovery should certainly be considered. However clients may be sensitive to temperature and need higher than normal levels of control. However, good levels of natural ventilation are also desirable. Noise from heating plant can be very distracting for these with ASD. Using natural ventilation within the housing and mechanical ventilation within the Day Centre is the most desirable option. Heating the building is dealt with through underfloor heating. This offers a consistent temperature which is desirable. Fluctuations in temperature can unsettle service users.

Integrated Design Report | Technical Strategy + Resolution | Page 121

Servicing Within each flat is a dedicated plant cupboard. This houses a Heat Interchange Unit (H.I.U) which is connected to the one site district heating system. This allows for each flat to be metered for the amount of hot water required. This plant space will also hold electrical circuit breakers and fuse box.

Heating Strategy Each flat is heated through a system of underfloor heating pipes. These are laid after the concrete floor slab and are covered by a screed on which the finished floor surface is placed. The underfloor heating allows for a consistent and controlled temperature within the flat. This is key as service users can require very specific environmental conditions. Ventilation is through natural means are required.

District Heating Each flat is connected to a district heating system located on the site. Communal spaces and the Day Centre feed straight from this system while the flats are connected via a H.I.U. The system is powered by a bio-mass boiler to the north of the site. Integrated Design Report | Technical Strategy + Resolution | Page 123

Dealing with Fire The plan across the page shows how a person with mobility issues would approach and move around the proposed Day Centre. A single lift serves the two floors within the building making way-finding and circulation simple for people who may be in a wheelchair. All elements of the Housing for Elderly with Autism is on a single level with level access from outside. This allows residents the easiest and safest possible way of moving into and around the dwellings. Within all the flats wet-rooms allow easy/level access to the shower. All bedrooms are designed with enough room to allow a wheelchair to move alongside the bed. For lower functioning service users a hoist can be fitted from the bed to the wet-room.

Integrated Design Report | Technical Strategy + Resolution | Page 125



4 Bed Cluster Room Layout Scale 1:100 @ A3

Scale 1:100 @ A3

4 Bed Cluster Room Layout

14.65m 14.65m

m 8.7

m 8.7



14.6m 14.6m

.5m 10

.5m 10


















Scale 1:100 @ A3


2 Bed Cluster Room Layout












Integrated Design Report | Technical Strategy + Resolution | Page 127


Fire Alarm!

Stop what you are doing

Line up at the door

Wait outside Stay calm

Wait for teacher’s instruction

A Fire Drill Dealing with Fire in a building for people with ASD requires a unique fire strategy. Icons and diagrams may be the best way to communicate what to do in the event of a fire. PECS was created in 1985 as a unique educational communication package for individuals with ASD and other similar disabilities. It begins by teaching an individual to give a picture of a desired item to a “communicative partner�, who immediately honours the exchange as a request. They are also used to teach routines for certain events and circumstances. Integrated Design Report | Technical Strategy + Resolution | Page 129

Technology Precedents (Details)

Integrated Design Report | Technical Strategy + Resolution | Page 131

Integrated Design Report | Technical Strategy + Resolution | Page 133

Integrated Design Report | Technical Strategy + Resolution | Page 135

Integrated Design Report | Technical Strategy + Resolution | Page 137


Integrated Design Report | Bibliography | Page 139

Bibliography Appleyard, D. & Lintell, M. (1972), The environmental quality of city streets:The residents’ viewpoint, American Institute of Planners Journal Issue 38, Washington, American Institute of Planners, Page 84-101. Berger, J. (1973), Ways of seeing, London, British Broadcasting Corporation & Penguin Books Bol, M. & Dillen, F. (2009), Dementia Village [online], Available at: [Accessed:10 Feb. 2017] Cullen, G. (2012), Concise Townscape, Hoboken, Taylor and Francis Fleming, R., Crookes, P. & Sum, S. (2008), A review of the empirical literature on the design of physical environments for people with dementia, Wollongong, University of Wollongong Handler, S. (2014), An Alternative Age Friendly Handbook, The University of Manchester Library, Manchester Jacobs, J. (1961), The death and life of great American cities, New York,Vintage Books JM Architects (2013),Viewforth Masterplan - Outline Proposal [online], Available at: uk/__documents/temporary-uploads/chief-executivesoffice/4862_viewforth-masterplan_finalcopy_lowres.pdf [Accessed: 10 Oct, 2016] Jukes, P. (1990), A Shout in the Street, New York, Farrar Stratus Giroux Kahn, L. (1973), ‘Silence and Light’, A+U January ‘73, Tokyo, A+U Publishing LDA (2010), London Housing Design Guide, London Development Agency, London Lynch, K. (1973), The Image of the City, Cambridge, MIT Mehta,V. (2013). The street: A Quintessential Social Public Space, Oxon, Routledge Perec, G. (2008), Species of Space and Other Pieces, London, Penguin Group Portas, M. (2011), The Portas Review [online], Available at: attachment_data/file/6292/2081646.pdf [Accessed: 06 Jan. 2017] Salman, S. (2013), We need to know and do more about ageing Integrated Design Report | Bibliography | Page 141

with autism [online], Available at: https://www.theguardian. com/social-care-network/2013/aug/15/ageing-with-autismknow-more [accessed 10 Feb. 2017] Scottish Government (2016), Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation [online], Available at: simd2016/BTTTTTT/13/-3.0286/55.7978/ [Accessed: 15 Oct, 2016] Sergison, J. & Bates, S. (2007), Papers 2, Barcelona, Editorial Gustavo Gili Sergison, J. (2016), Papers 3, Luzern, Quart Publishers Smithson, A. (1974). Team 10 Primer, Cambridge, MIT Stirling Council (2014),Vacant and Derelict Land Audit 2014 [online], Available at: documents/temporary-uploads/economy,-planning-_and_regulation/emp-land-audit/vacant-derelict-land-2014-red. pdf [Accessed: 10 Oct, 2016] Stirling Council (2016) The Stirling Local Development Plan: Proposed Plan, 2016, Stirling Council, Stirling Stirling Council Archives (2016),Viewforth - Counil Buildings Old and New [online], Available at: http:// [Accessed: 12 Oct, 2016] Stirling Council (2014), Conservation Area Plans (Adopted 2014) [online], Available at: services/law-and-licensing/environment-and-pollutionregulations/conservation-areas/conservation-area-plans [Accessed: 12 Oct, 2016] The Art of Autism (2016), Quotes about Autism and Aspergers [online], Available at: [Accessed: 12 Oct, 2016] The National Autistic Society Scotland (2016), About Autism [online], Available at: uk/?nation=scotland&sc_lang=en-GB [Accessed: 8 Oct, 2016] The National Audit Office (2009), Supporting people with autism through adulthood [online], Available at: https://www. [Accessed: 16 Oct, 2016]

Integrated Design Report | Bibliography | Page 143

Design Development + Process Appendix II

Development + Process The following pages show a selection of sketch design development. Arranged chronologically from initial side strategy through to detailed design.

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Integrated Design Report | Design Development + Process | Page 149

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Integrated Design Report | Design Development + Process | Page 153

Integrated Design Report | Design Development + Process | Page 155

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Integrated Design Report | Design Development + Process | Page 161

Client Contacts + Consultees Appendix III

Throughout the year the studio group had meetings with consultants from Scottish Autism. This took the form of informal discussions, training days and crits. A number of site visits were also arranged to visit service users and staff to get a wide range of views and experience. Meetings were also had with Structural Engineers and M+E Engineers, along with visits from a Fire Strategy Engineer and Environmental Consultant. These meeting have all provided valuable information and have helped progress the design proposal.

Integrated Design Report | Client Contacts + Consultees | Page 165

S t . P a u l ’s C a t h e d r a l Appendix IV

significant public buildings

Integrated Design Report | St. Paul’s Cathedral | Page 169

commerce + retail

culture + entertainement

significant public buildings




4. 2. Integrated Design Report | St. Paul’s Cathedral | Page 171

Integrated Design Report | St. Paul’s Cathedral | Page 173



+ civic



display performance


community interface

a n e w c u l t u r a l q u a r t e r f o r t h e c i t y.

four urban interventions =