When education and design meet.
Josiah College is our flagship educational facility, designed specifically for autistic children. Founded by Emmanuel College in Carrara, this ground-breaking design sits adjacent to the founding college as a centre of excellence for this highly specialised field of teaching. The buildings and external spaces designed to meet and extend the learning potentials of the children.
Class sizes are limited to eight to allow staff to facilitate personalised learning practices and promote staff/student relationships. Our design incorporated paths of movement and flow that clearly and rationally consider spatial relationships and volume. Lighting, air-conditioning, textures and colours have been selected with the children’s sensitivity in mind and have a positive impact on the learning environment by optimising on all elements involved.
HHH Architect Director and specialist in education design, Alan Hayes commented how the build improves the working conditions for teaching staff.
“We have incorporated moments of delight for the staff through a considered level of design. It offers inspiration and a sense of calm from their rewarding but challenging role in educators”.
This educational design is the epitome of pragmatic requirements meeting poetic design.
Our original design proposal presented the buildings with striated timbers and designs to make the building appear as part of the forest. When we presented this design to the clients, we found out they were fans of the ‘Forest School Movement‘ .
We strived to have the play equipment, cubbies, forts are a part of the same forest scene as well as incorporating empirical and experiential knowledge to develop or concept. Three research panels we reviewed, the most influential research was conducted through Magda Mostafa, an architect with extensive experience designing spaces for children with ASD. Much of her research was based on a study where 100’s of parents comments that repeated two major elements of parenting children with ASD.
- Sound isolation; and
- Retreat area that is on offer to students at any time.
Mostafa also examined other elements that provided deeper understanding of disorder:
- Acoustics – making surfaces quiet and muted;
- Spatial sequencing – a flowing sequence of room to room;
- Compartmentalisation – spaces that gently blends into one;
- Sensory zoning – removal of acoustic influences; and
- Safety – consideration of need for wider walkways, carpeting to soften falls and rounded edges to help prevent hard knocks.
Our second body of research came from a study between two universities (Rennes University in France and Kyoto University in Japan) who were striving to eliminate cultural differences in colour perceptions, who discovered that children with ASD preferred muted natural colours and tones in their spaces.
Our final research was from the experimental research by the founder of the Temple Grandin School who reinforced much of the body of work we examined via empirical work. From this research we distilled this into our design approach. Acoustics, clarify of way finding, naturalness of materials and colours, lighting, air-conditioning, elimination of distractions….
Evolution of Brief
Our team went from retrofitting relocatable buildings to a fully fledged design package that included four buildings that would accommodate the increased services and elements specific to the client brief.
Josiah College will open at the beginning of Term 2, 2018, with 2 classes of students in years 2-5. These may be composite classes that span that entire age range (Y2/3 and Y4/5) or two single year group classes, which are likely to be younger students (for example Y2 and Y3) depending on the number and ages of students who apply. If you’re interested, check with Emmanuel College on program details and education fees.
Director | Alan Hayes
Lead Architectural Designer | Ed Lightbody
Architectural Project Lead | Megan Berry
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(07) 5528 0088 | email@example.com