Wings Communities is a specialised respite centre for young adults with an intellectual disability. The centre offers educational programs to develop skills leading to independence and ultimately allowing participants to thrive in community life. The design team collaborated with the Wings founder - who is also a parent of a child with an intellectual disability. A challenging yet fun project, we needed to develop a deep understanding of the needs of this under represented and misunderstood co-hort. One of the key issues identified through collaboration with the user group, was that playfulness, modernity, and community were more important issues than mobility. The project consists of 15 small self contained apartments, a community lounge and kitchen, all of which are configured around a central courtyard in a u shape to create a sense of intimacy, neighbourhood and support, while allowing independent activity or withdraw as and when required. The project was initially conceived and designed prior to the writing of the SDA Design Standard but has been adapted to comply.
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