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Disabled Children’s Respite Complex

Former Glasgow District Court Building

Original Elevation View of entrance

Glasgow, Scotland

Turnbull Street

Former Glasgow Disrict Court

Located on Turnbull Street in the Salt Market area of Glasgow, the building was designed by Alexander Beith McDonald (1847-1915). It is a very irregularly planned building with mostly Renaissance details and was opened in 1906 as the home to the Glasgow Central Police Court. After the Police service moved premises, part of the building was turned into the Glasgow Police Museum in 1970 but eventually completely abandoned in 2008. The building now lies in a state of disuse.

Original Building and Interior





Cell Block



Mission: Rip the original soul out of this perfectly suited building and replace it with....

Side Shelt


Research and GLASGOW KIDS Respite Complex Concept Respite refers to short term, temporary care provided to people with disabilities in order that the child and their families can take a break from the daily routine of caregiving. Unlike child care, respite services may sometimes involve overnight care for an extended period of time. In the UK there are 770,000 disabled children under the age of 16

Only one in 13 disabled children recieve support services of any sort from their local authority.

56% of parents with disabled children reported their was a lack of sufficient care and activities for their children in their area

Research by contact a family 2011

Only 8% of families get services from their local social services

Currently no overnight respite complex or centre in Glasgow City Centre

GLASGOW KIDS Respite Complex is catered for disability and designed for children In March 2008, an amendment to current legislation, established a new duty on all local authorities to help parents caring for disabled children by ensuring short breaks from their caring responsibilities. This comes with a major investment by the Government through the Aiming High for Disabled Children programme. Through the effective use of colour, material and furniture it offers the children an engaging experience outside of their normal lives which will help ignite their senses and feelings. Color can be one of the most dramatic changes you can make in a room. Color can set a mood and may have an effect on a child’s activity level. Colour therapy is not used to replace medical treatment or advice. The ability children posses to interact with, control and transform their environment is very important to them. Children want to explore, manipulate and transform the environment.

Colour Therapy wheel

The respite complex is designed with careful consideration of the environmental needs disabled children have; movement, comfort, competence and control

“It is not the disability which restricts what a child is able to do and achieve, but rather the environment around them� prospects childcare group

In 21st Century Britain there has been a vast and desperately needed improvement on info and facilities to help with the care of children with disabilities. Resource centres, learning and development institutes, specially adapted sports faculties and respite centres have been more widely introduced as part of UK Government and individual society schemes to strengthen opportunities and experiences for children.

Short breaks can be extremely beneficial to children and their families or carers, allowing the families to have a break from their full time responsibilities and giving the user a different experience and chanceto relax.However It has only been in the last five years that respite centres specially catered to the needs of disabled children have been brought into use. Though these centres do exist they are extremely limited in numbers and in terms of equipment, space and location.

In Glasgow particularly, these types of facilities are extremely rare and not advertised or available to many families or children who would benefit from this type of experience. There is currently no mainstream, well known respite centre or complex within Glasgow city centre. Many existing small respite centres are located on the outskirts of Glasgow or Edinburgh making them hard to reach or for city children to qualify for. This project proposes to redesign the ground and first floor of the former

Glasgow District Court, situated on Turnbull Street, Glasgow as an innovative, mainstream respite complex for disabled children aged 8 - 14. The second floor will be used as a disabled carers training facility and offices. The space is very large and able to fulfill the criteria in the way of space needed for equipment and movement.The building is also located next to rest and care homes so the area is quiet. It is also 5 minutes from Glasgow Green so day trips can be easily made.

Ground Floor Plan and Isometric View Not to scale Stairway Laundry to 1st Floor Room




Fire Escape



Lift & Stairway to 1st Floor Fire Escape Corridor

Quiet Play Area


Lounge Play Area Courtyard Shelter

Entrance 2


Reception Area

WaitingArea Assistant Office Manager Office

Gated Entrance through to Courtyard

First Aid/ Doctors Room

Entrance 1

Entrance to separate part of Ground Floor which gives lift and stairway access to carer training facility on Second Floor

Second Floor

Entrance & Welcome First Floor

Interaction & Play

Garden Area


Separate to Respite Complex

Dining Ground Floor


Staff Only

Entrance 2 and Section AA

Each area of the complex has unique and different design features to keep the children engaged, aware and interacting with their environment.

Reception Area

Waiting Area

Entrance 1

Bespoke Cork box which houses electronic welcome sign

TropicalPalmStripe Hanging Hammock chairby Mayan Hammocks

Hanging Hammock Chair by 3hen Hammock

Interaction Projection Dancefloor by Hyper Audio Visual - Industrial 50x50ABS Tiles - Toughened Glass

Cotton Cube Bean Bags by More Production

White Cotton Sofa by More Prouction

Reception Area

Cork Flooring

‘Metro’ New Generation Soft Astro Turf

Hanging Detail 1:20 First floor Concrete Flooring Suspended P/board Ceiling Timber Joist Rope and chain metal hook 1500mm



Hanging Hammock chair


Cork Flooring Original Flooring

The furniture in the Reception Area immediately appeals and connects to the childs visual and playfull senses and disconnects this relatively serious space from the ‘adult like’ expectations of environments that may dominate the childs outside life. This whole space is the childs environment which the adults are in, not vice versa. Each area of the complex has a different texturised wall surface for the kids to engage with and also for visually impaired users to define each area.

Waiting Area User Profile Daniel Age : 8 From : Bishopbriggs Daniel has Multiple Sclerosis and has come for a day visit to ‘Glasgow Kids’ Respite Complex, where he can use and enjoy different facilities, meet new friends and take part in specially organised activities for the day. Day Visits: 9am - 6pm

Bespoke Light Hanging Detail 1:10

First Floor Flooring Timber Joist Suspended Ceiling Timber Batten Propriety Metal Angle Fixed to Suspended Ceiling Suspension Wire Bespoke Hanging Light

The seating of the Waiting Area is made up of cube bean bags, used not only as seating but as a feature children can move, play and interact with. The colourful whimsical lines are spray painted through stencils directly onto the floor and walls. The aim of these lines is to establish to the child right from the start, that this space and environment is different from the outside world and that this complex is a fun haven, where child friendly design is the main focus of the space.

Light Bead Curtain When the beads are touched they; - Light up with a bright primary colour - Play a musical note or tune This product engages many of a childs senses.

Lounge Play Area

Children don’t just see furniture or materials they see objects to interact and play with


Orignal Wall & WIndow



P/Board withTemplate cut out

Diagram of Window Shape 1:50 Fly Suspension lights by Kartell


PolymaxFlex Rubber Flooring

The invigorating colours and bold shapes immediately appeal to and engage the childs visual senses.

Dining Area

ining Area e to lift & D g n u o L m o Corridor fr

“Colour absolutely effects our children’s development, when colour is chosen with a purpose we create a balanced, harmonious environment where children can claim their birthright and reach their full potential” June McLeod. Colour Therapy Specialist

The dining area is a space where children can interact with each other while they eat or play games on the main table. The interior of this room offers the feel of luxury as well as comfort for the children, each feature is there to grab the children’s attention and stimulate their senses and appetite, making the room an enjoyable and very sociable space

Solid Copper/Brass Poles hung from ceiling

Miso White Glass Pendant Light

Series 7 Chair

Bespoke Claro Walnut Wood communal table

First Floor Plan and Isometric Not to scale Staff Lift and Stairway Staff to Ground Bedroom Floor

Kids Bedroom

Staff Bedroom

Kids Bedroom

Staff Bedroom


Lift & Stairway to Ground Floor

Fire Escape Corridor

Staff Bedroom

Kids Bedroom

Sensory Room 1

Sensory Room 2

Activity Hall

Quiet Play Hall & Viewing Area

Separate Part of First Floor with lift and stairway access to carer training facility on Second Floor only.

Second Floor Interaction & Play

First Floor

Transfer Kids Bedroom Area Staff Only

Ground Floor

Separate to Respite Complex

Corridor and Lift Detail 1:50

2nd Floor

Flooring surface Concrete Flooring Arm which retracts Lift door vertically


1st Floor

Retracting Lift Door

Lift Call Port Pole


Ground Floor

Lift Platform Basement Floor Hydraulic Pumps

Lift set at Ground Floor Station

Lift set at First Floor Station

Room Corridor User Profile Michael Age : 14 From : Shawlands Michael is physically disabled due to spinal nerve damage he suffered at an early age and has come to stay for two nights. He stays in this single bedroom specifically catered to his needs, but is still checked on regularly by the staff. The overnight visits give Michael and his family a deserved, maintained break from the stress of day to day life.

Accessibility Wardrobe by Sliderobes

Bespoke Redwood Table with cut out arc for wheelchair users

Kids aged over 10 can stay overnight for up to 3 nights. (maximum of 6 kids stay)

The room doors for each of the children’s bedroom’s has a thick styrofoam number on it which identifies each room to the children and helps the visually impaired children to identify where in the complex they are.

The kids's rooms have en- suite bathrooms with plenty of wheelchair access into and around the bedroom. The rooms as well as the complex have been designed and built with disability at the forefront

Kids SIngle Bedroom

The layout of the bedroom provides children with respite and personalized space despite the complex’s communal character

Corner Table

Bespoke Wooden Table

Bespoke Wardrobe

Adjustable single bed


Kids Specialist Bedroom

The specialist bedrooms are designed to cater specifically for children whose disability requires more attention. The environment is designed to engage with the visual senses in order to calm down and relax the child in preparation for them going to sleep to get the rest needed for the next days activities.

Solar System Light from The Glow Company

Wheel Chair ‘Parking’ Space Bespoke Metal Bed Sructure with Bakare Special needs bed

Bespoke Metal Bed Structure Adjustable single bed

Accessibiliy Wardrobe with magnetic surface by Sliderobes

Liquid Blue Floor Tiles by Sensory Plus. 50x50mm 0.5mm thick

Plasterboard Wall with Star & Moon shape cut out


Floor Tiles


Sensory Room 1:50 Section View: Sensory Room Soundproof Wall

Sensory Room Ceiling Timber Framing

Two Layers of P/board Bonded Acoustical Cotton

Concrete Floor Timber Framing

The Sensory Room is a place where the children can explore and develop their senses and skills. The Sensory Room has a soft play area, padded floors and walls and interactive equipment which make dramatic changes to the sensory room environment using sound, lighting and visual stimuli. The Sensory room can engage children who can learn through play. From following bright lights, shapes and patterns with their eyes to pressing buttons to make the sensory room change colour or even change colour to music. Users will become interested in their environment.

Disabled Children's Respite Complex  

Respite Complex within Glasgow City Centre for disbaled children, designed by Stephen Arthur