Designing a vision
The Caudwell International Children’s Centre (CICC) aims to help autistic children achieve their full potential and lead the way in autism research and innovation.
For C4, this meant designing a building that goes beyond aesthetics to deliver a warm, tactile and welcoming space that contributes to the therapeutic experience.
Cutting corners - but in a good way.
The brief from Caudwell Children was to create an iconic building with a free flowing form and to avoid, wherever possible, the use of corners. Fewer corners creates a more flowing and open space, enhances the external and internal aesthetics, but also reduces injury risk and improves the therapeutic environment.
It was of critical importance that the building made visiting children and families feel welcome, comfortable and engaged. No area could give the impression of a traditional ‘institution’ - this was the C4 design team’s initial focus.
A specific requirement of the brief was to provide two inner courtyard spaces which would serve as a secure private assessment space to the South and a larger, accessible public/function courtyard to the North. To bring this to life, the design team drew inspiration from Caudwell Children’s existing butterfly logo which formed the basis of their concept design.
This enabled the building to be arranged into North and South ‘wings’, each with their own distinct function, with circular internal courtyard spaces to admit daylight. The elliptical nature of the butterfly also allows for a flowing internal layout, to address internal navigation considerations for children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders.
The result was design, functionality and usability all perfectly in-sync with one another.