Upsych: Inclusive designing educational environments for individual's with cognitive disabilities
Upsych is an inclusive learning environment specifically designed for a neurodiverse range of pupils. The site location is in Geneve, Switzerland. The design is inspired by the hypo and hypersensitive traits of individuals with cognitive disabilities to maximise their potential. This includes the glazed façade, atrium, sensory walls and escape zones. The sun path rising from the East provides adequate natural lighting for the building, however, to avoid excessive solar lighting the cantilevered first floor provides shading for the West and South classrooms on the ground floor perimeter. Louvers were added to the West first floor façade to provide additional shading. Both the ground and first floor space have been orientated to provide unique learning with play areas in corridors, sensory rooms and a range of creative spaces to allow pupils to explore all senses. The shared space in the centre of the building is a common area for pupils to socialise with other neurodiverse individuals, here sensory considerations were made with carpets to reduce noise pollution and neutral colours used for walls. Upsych is a space that emphasises the idea that architectural design can positively influence the current educational curriculum for individuals with cognitive disabilities.