Architecture project for people with special needs

Architecture project

The School of Architecture has conducted an exercise to design purpose-built live and work units for young people with a physical or learning disability in Liverpool.

A group of 40 master’s students took part in the project which had a principle aim of exploring and establishing architectural solutions that would allow graduates from Derwen College – one of the leading providers of residential Further Education provision for young people with learning difficulties as well as Physical disabilities in the country – to live a fulfilled and independent life in a city.

The six-week project was initiated by Dr Richard Koeck, Lecturer in the School and conducted in partnership with Andrew Harris from Derwen College and Karen Hodkinson from HFT, a national charity which works with people with learning difficulties .

The project began with a site visit to the college in Shropshire, where the students, tutors and representatives of HFT had the opportunity to not only inspect typical accommodation, but also to talk to individual college students.

The students then had four weeks to come up with 40 unique master plans and architectural proposals that would not only respond to a special urban context, but also lay the foundation for the future tenants being able to live in a safe and adequate environment.

Dr Koeck said: “The project has started a fruitful dialogue between academia and practice from which it is hoped that the students have benefited from their association with HFT and the college. It will hopefully help students in the future to make crucial decisions around the design of their buildings based on their knowledge of the difficulties experienced by people with a learning and physical disability who simply want to live independently in safe and affordable housing and to be able to access and enjoy their local community.”

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