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An Unforgettable Design Experience - Vanitha Veedu Architect Diary

September 24, 2023 at 6:30:00 AM

In the 'Architect Diary' section of Malayalam-language Vanitha Veedu magazine prepared by Sinu K Cherian, Dr. Benny Kuriakose shares his experience with the construction of one of the most unforgettable projects he has worked on in his career. Sankalp The Learning Centre & Special Needs School, in Kolappancheri, Chennai, is the institution that provides remedial teaching to kids with impairments including dyslexia and Autism Spectrum Disorder. Any design concept that is being developed must start with an understanding of user demands. The design of the autism school has been developed to create an environment ideal or normal for the students so that the disturbances are minimal and they can incorporate their head, heart, and hands towards learning.

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Dr. Kuriakose further explores the various concepts and design of the school. The school has a fairly simple construction, with courtyards that double as extra classroom space. Courtyards provide natural illumination and serve as spaces for sensory calm. By combining different aspects, the structure itself has been created to serve as a teaching tool. Using different elements like water, sand and different textures to incorporate the sensory stimulation of touch and hence provide a playground, sandpit, ponds, tyre park and sensory garden. Sharp edges are eliminated in the design to protect children. The design makes sure to give children their perfect setting to help them become independent so they may have fun like everyone else.

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