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    INTERNATIONAL SNAPSHOT: Designing for autism; Zaha Hadid's Russian forest house; Tent-inspired Siberian airport

    Stephanie Stefanovic

    Let's take a look at some of the world's latest innovations in architecture and design.

    New York boarding school designed for autism

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    Image: Shrub Oak International School

    Careful thought was given to every element of design in the Shrub Oak International School, a boarding school for autistic teenagers outside of New York. 

    Many people with autism have sensory processing issues that can cause stress and anxiety. Examples include fragmented and distorted vision – which can make bright colours and patterns disorienting – or the inability to filter out background noises, meaning the hum of a heating or cooling system could make it impossible to concentrate. These and many other factors were taken into consideration in H2M Architects + Engineers’ design of Shrub Oak.

    Designing buildings for autism can be challenging because not everyone experiences autism in the same way, but the firm decided on some of the following design features: colour contrasts between walls and floors, colour-coding different doors, avoiding direct sunlight and flickering fluorescent lights, soft carpeting and a central courtyard to absorb additional noise from hallways and classrooms. A soothing colour palette was also used, including muted earth tones, taupes, greys and soft blues.

    Zaha Hadid’s one-and-only private residence complete

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    Image: Zaha Hadid Architects

    The one-and-only private residence designed by Zaha Hadid has now been completed two years after the renowned architect’s death.

    Located in an uninhabited forest just over 3km west of central Moscow, this project is unlike anything ever done by Zaha Hadid. Much of the home is actually underground, while the master bedroom soars 35 metres above the forest floor, allowing residents to see above the trees. Other features include a swimming pool, spa, gym, Japanese garden and nightclub. Developer Vladislav Doronin has referred to the house as “the perfect livable sculpture”. 

    New Siberian airport design pays homage to traditional tents

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    Image: Twelve Architects

    Twelve Architects’ design for the Novy Urengoy airport in Siberia is inspired by the ‘chum’, a temporary tent structure used by the Uralic reindeer herders of north-western Siberia, where the airport is located. The geometric design is echoed in the building’s interior, where interconnecting triangles take form in ceiling panels and angled pillars. 

    The new airport is part of the ongoing regeneration of Russia’s airport infrastructure, according to Twelve. It will be situated next to one of the world’s largest fields, serving both the city and the regional oil and gas industry. It is due for completion in 2021. 

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