Adelaide West Special Education Centre
Year of completion:
The Adelaide West Special Education Centre is a new 80 place Special School designed to accommodate the needs of children with significant physical and intellectual disability. Typically, these children are all confined to beds or wheelchairs, have sensory impairment and two-thirds of the students are non-verbal.
Delivered as part of the State government’s Education Works Public Private Partnership (PPP) project, the new school takes advantage of adjacency to Ocean View High School to engender social inclusion for these children and hence develop their sense of self as a member of the wider community.
An Activity Hall and Administration wing support a series of flexible Learning Areas that have an intimate relationship with external sensory gardens. As briefed, it is essential that every activity becomes a learning opportunity, allowing each student’s horizons to expand. This requirement was translated to a plan that provided an outlook to stimulating spaces and environments along every route taken by students.
Other design features include a fully functional residential unit for training in living skills, observational bays for allied health consultants and overhead lifting tracks. Importantly, the new facility was designed to not invoke any links to an ‘institution’, but rather reflect the school’s vision of a clean, green and cutting edge place for learning.
Thomson Rossi provided full architectural services to our client in response to extensive briefing requirements provided by the State government acting on behalf of DECD. We were authors of the design and attended State Workshops with user groups to complete the design development of very specific student care issues. The project received a CEFPI Australasia Region Educational Facilities Commendation Award in 2011 in Category 1A New Construction: Entire New School.