Autism NZ has purchased an industrial building in the heart of Petone
on the edge of the commercial zone with its eastern edge flanked
by residential areas characterized by small cottages
typical of New Zealand colonial architecture.
This project involves the structural upgrade and fit-out of the
existing building in order to provide Autism NZ with a National
and Regional Resource Centre creating a safe and nurturing environment
for the Autistic Community and their families.
The aim is also to house a wider body of consultants allowing
them to work alongside Autism NZ facilitating the collaboration
with each other, providing a more coherent service in an environment
adapted to their specific needs.
The existing building is a typical Industrial building with a regular
structural grid and a symmetrical roofline running along
the length of the building.
RESOURCE CENTRE ENTRANCE & CORE CIRCULATION
The visitor is led to the central entrance by a coloured access path
bordered by the parking spaces. They are greeted and orientated
with the help of a receptionist.
The central path extends through the building as a day-lit circulation
core that maximizes awareness, orientation and the ability
for all people to navigate the building independently.
From this central element, a series of spaces are bathed in soft natural light
and defined by clear boundaries, providing diverse sensory experiences.
FAMILY MEETING ROOM
On the family & children’s side of the building, the Meeting/Speech rooms
are adjacent to two escape spaces for the children: the low sensory
Playroom Nook and the more stimulating Expression room.
EXPRESSION ROOM AND MEETING ROOMS
KITCHEN AND WORKSHOP AREA
On the adults’ side, at ground level, a commercial kitchen facility
allows users to experience a familiar environment and provides
a large and flexible space for workshops, interactive exercises and presentations.
One on one Meeting rooms for adult clients are positioned upstairs
and are coupled with individual Computer Stations accessible at all times
of the day. The adult facilities at both lower and upper levels, have the
potential to be rented for exterior events and workshop weekends
in order to generate revenue for the Resource Centre.
ADULT LOUNGE / READING ROOM
The existing courtyard is developed as a garden and interactive
water play area. The courtyard is bordered by a large double height
space that allows natural light to penetrate deep into the building.
Within this space a series of mobile booths give the users the option
of hideway when desired. These booths are provided throughout
the building to allow seclusion for reading, online activities and general
Also at the upper level, the work force is spread into two naturally
lit open spaces linked by a series of meeting rooms and booths
allowing a degree of separation between Autism NZ staff
and the exterior consultants. These working areas maintain privacy
from below while also allowing observation when required. A large
boardroom caters for more formal meetings.