Sense of Place
Human habitats are charged with various forces which define their type and level of sensory stimulation. For persons with intellectual disabilities, some of whom are wheelchair users, the freedom to choose between spaces that are sensorially stimulating or moderating is crucial to their quality of life. This notion accompanies the design process of the day-care center for adults with intellectual disabilities, as it attempts to create a sequence of places which produce a wide range of intensities in sensory stimulation. The main courtyard functions as an organizing element, around which the circulation system and the functional spaces are arranged; and through its dominant appearance, provides clear spatial orientation. The slow elevation of the building levels around the courtyard creates intimate relations between the core programmatic components – the classes and their private yards. Other functions in the center, such as the library and therapeutic pool, are open to the public and thus encourage encounters between the main users and the community.