Architecture for Autism: Exterior Views

Netley Primary School Autistic Unit

In 2007 I visited one of the most talked about buildings at the time, the Netley Primary School Autistic Unit in London, England. To my surprise, the building did not look or function in the way the publication material had depicted it.[1] The teachers I interviewed said the views from the nearly wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling windows were too distracting for the students. Their solution was to cover ¾ of the windows with paper. On top of making the building look somewhat rundown, this solution appeared to hinder the lighting design that originally depended on more daylight. The lesson for future projects seemed obvious; limit views and adjust the lighting accordingly. That is the conclusion I drew, and apparently so did Haverstock Associates, the firm that designed Netley.

After Netley, Haverstock Associates adjusted their approach for the recently finished Kentish Town School Autistic Resource Base. At Kentish Town, Haverstock scaled back the amount of exterior views by employing opaque walls that allow light in but limit views out. There are still a few large views to the outside, and the opaque walls are punctuated every so often with small clear glass windows, mostly above eye-level, but the approach is noticeably different from the one used at Netley (for Kentish Town project images see here). But is the conclusion about limiting views correct? Perhaps, but it might be something else. Maybe what is viewed matters more than how much is viewed.

Tesa 105 Conversion / Estudio N

© Andrea Pertoldeo

Architect: Estudio N - Andrés Holguin, David R. Morales, Alvaro Solis
Location: Venice,
Structure: Thetis Spa, ing. Giovanni Zarotti
Completion: 2012
Area: 1,100 sqm
Photographs: Andrea Pertoldeo


Ferreteria O´Higgins / GH+A | Guillermo Hevia


Architects: GH+A | Guillermo Hevia
Location: Pudahuel, , Chile
Project Team: Tomás Villalón A., Francisco Carrión G, Robin Renner
Client: Villar Hermanos S.A.
Contractor: Pitágora S.A.
Climate Consultant: BIOTECH Chile Consultores Ltda.
Exterior Skin: Hunter Douglas
Lighting: Opendark
Project Area: 7,170 sqm
Project Year: 2011
Photographs: Nico Saieh, Guillermo Hevia H., Javier González

Courtesy of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Studio 400

“White” Book Show Installation 2011 / Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Studio 400

“White”, a gallery installation produced by the 20 students of Studio 400, a fifth-year architectural design studio at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, served to present each of the student’s research books. The installation was designed, developed, fabricated,…

Francisco De Arruda School / José Neves

© Laura Castro Caldas & Paulo Cintra

Architect: José Neves
Location: ,
Construction Year: 2009-2011
Collaborators: Rui Sousa Pinto, Ana Belo, André Matos, Filipe Cameira, Martim Enes Dias, Nuno Florêncio, Steven Evans, Vitor Quaresma; João Pernão, Maria Capelo
Landscape Architecture: F|C
Engineering: Betar, SM&LM, PEN, Natural Works
Client: Parque Escolar
Photographs: Laura Castro Caldas & Paulo Cintra, João Morgado

Global Holcim Awards 2012 Winners

1st prize - Courtesy of Diébédo Francis Kéré, Kéré Architecture

The winners of the Global Holcim Awards 2012 were recently announced which asked participants to design a project for a school in Gando, Burkina Faso, a community center in , , and a plan for urban renewal in Berlin, Germany. These outstanding sustainable construction projects were selected from 15 finalists by a panel of independent experts led by Enrique Norten. More images and information on the winning designs after the break.

Domkyrkoforum / Carmen Izquierdo

© Åke E:son Lindman

Architects: Carmen Izquierdo
Location: Domkyrkoplan, , Sweden
Project Managers: & Andreas Hiller
Collaborating Architects: Andreas Hermansson, Erik Törnkvist, Isabel Gonzaga, Malin Belfrage
Client: Domkyrkrådet i Lund
New Buiding Size: 1,617 sqm
Project Years: 2010-2011
Photographs: Lindman Photography

Courtesy of CARTOGRAM Architecture + Urban Design

SOILED: Platescrapers / CARTOGRAM Architecture + Urban Design

The semiannual journal SOILED, published by CARTOGRAM Architecture + Urban Design…, has released its third issue, entitled Platescrapers, which probes edible encounters at the intersection of inhabited spaces and the processes of cultivating, peddling, and devouring. It posits that

Beaumaris Dental / Demaine Partnership

© Peter Clarke

Architects: Demaine Partnership
Location: 7 North Concourse, , Victoria, Australia
Project Architect: Craig Barkla
Project Team: Alan Driscoll, Andrea Zidziunas, Natasa Markovic
Client: BC Dental p/l
Cost: $2.4m
Completion: 2011
Photographs: Peter Clarke


Beatriz Angelo Hospital / Saraiva + Associados & PINEARQ


Architects: Saraiva + Associados - PINEARQ
Location: Av. Carlos Teixeira, Loures, Portugal
Design Team: Nuno Mona, Luís Francisco, Joana Peres, Rita Carvalho, Bruno Pereira, Paulo Sousa, Ricardo Gago, Maria João Moreira, Rafael Azriel, Manuela Tamborino, Vera , Rita Ribeiro, Mariana Lucena, Ana Ramos, Hugo Baptista, Rui Carvalho
Completion: 2012
Client: ConsisLoures Consortium
Total Plot Area: 166,000 sqm
Project Leader: Luís Barros
Photographer: FG+SG – Fernando Guerra, Sérgio Guerra

Corgan & SOM Team Wins GSA Design Competition for the Social Security Administration National Support Center

The General Services Administration (GSA) has awarded Corgan Associates, Inc., and its design partner, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) the design of the new Social Security Administration (SSA) National Support Center (NSC) as part of the Hensel Phelps Design-Build team. Located in Northeast , the new 280,000 ft2 office and data center will replace the existing outdated National Computer Center with a high-performance sustainable design that is expected to achieve LEED® GOLD Certification from the Green Building Council (USGBC). Continue reading for more information.

Social Services Center / dosmasuno arquitectos

© Miguel de Guzmán

Architects: dosmasuno arquitectos
Location: Móstoles,
Design Team: Ignacio Borrego, Néstor Montenegro, Lina Toro
Collaborators: Begoña de Abajo, Sálvora Feliz, Marko Ličen, Marie Persson and Carlos Ramos
Total Built Surface: 2,739.78 sqm
Photographs: Miguel de Guzmán


© Javier Orive

Architects: EDDEA
Location: . Cádiz
Partners In Charge (): Ignacio Laguillo (Project and Supervision Site); Harald Schönegger (Project); Luis Ybarra (Project)
Design Team: Francisco Marqués, Margarita Díaz, Rosalino Daza, José Manuel Ruiz, Alejandro de la Torre, Felipe Clemente, Miguel Sibón
Original Project Architect: Fernando Cavestany
Area: 2460.0 sqm
Photographs: Javier Orive, José Hevia

3 Houses 3 Sisters / Inês Cortesão + José Pedro Caetano


Architects: Inês Cortesão + José Pedro Caetano
Location: São João do Campo, ,
Design Team: Luís Bonito, Marco dos Santos
Client: Conceição, Rosa e Glória Cortesão
Completion: 2009
Structural Engineer: Luís Godinho
Area: 430 sqm
Photographs: FG+SG – Fernando Guerra, Sérgio Guerra

d3 Housing Tomorrow 2012 Winners

d3 is pleased to announce the winners of the 2012 Housing Tomorrow competition. The annual competition promotes the exploration of contextual, cultural, and life cycle flows that offer new housing strategies for living in the future. Sponsored by New York-based d3, the competition invites architects, designers, engineers, and students to collectively explore innovative approaches to residential urbanism, architecture, interiors, and designed objects.

d3 recognizes innovative strategies that challenge conventional housing typologies with emerging planning strategies, advanced technologies and alternative materials. Competition submissions for 2012 reflect forces of globalization and adaptation, as well as the changing nature of visualization in academia and professional design practice. As an annual competition, d3 Housing Tomorrow seeks to identify and celebrate emerging voices and visionary proposals that connect housing with people, context and ecologies.

Continue after the break to view the three winners and twelve honorable mentions selected by the jury.

4 Bungalows / Estudio Arquitectura Hago

© Carlos Pesqueira Calvo

Architects: Estudio Arquitectura Hago - Antonio Álvarez-Cienfuegos Rubio & Emilio Delgado Martos
Location: Orellana la Vieja, Badajoz,
Completion: 2011
Area: 210.82 sqm
Budget: € 228.588,01
Photographs: Carlos Pesqueira Calvo


New Bauhaus Museum / Architekten HRK


Receiving second-place in the Classic Siftung Weimar international competition for the New Bauhaus Museum, the proposal by Architekten HRK (Klaus Krauss and Rolf Kursawe, Cologne) enhances the public access into Weimarhallenpark. The distinctive form of the museum creates a strong impression in the urban setting and is characterised by the cleverly staggered arrangement of the elongated structures. The proposal is also impressive in terms of its interior design qualities. The central interior space creates a unique, independent and attractive flair for the New Bauhaus Museum. Continue after the break for more images. 

Shipping Container House / Studio H:T

© Braden Gunem

Architects: Studio H:T
Location: , Colorado,
Project Completion: May 2010
Building Area: 1,517 sqft
Photographs: Braden Gunem