The Institute for Child Development (ICD) promotes the welfare of children who are challenged by autism and other developmental, learning, and/or emotional disorders. When the institute needed its first standalone facility, BCK-IBI Group designed a teaching, classroom and treatment building in keeping with the ICD’s budget.
Subsequently, BCK-IBI Group was selected to program, design, and build an adjoining playground with specific design requirements to meet both teaching staff and clients’ needs. The Social Learning Center is a playground specifically adapted to the needs of these children. It is designed to encourage social interaction with other children, and allow staff to observe and provide treatment in an outdoor setting.
Safety considerations include the use of a poured-in-place playing surface that is free of potentially dangerous loose material, and does not require constant upkeep to maintain its safety rating.
The entire playground was scaled down to create a kid-sized streetscape, including a pavilion, maintenance shed, and a tricycle highway called ‘Safety Avenue’. ‘Safety Avenue’ was incorporated not only to provide a fun trail for tricycles, but also to mimic a street, complete with intersections, crosswalks, and stop light, giving the children training for real world situations. Special features of the playground include a water spray area and the use of colorful banners, flags, and custom cut metal panels depicting a landscape with animals, which ornaments the security fence panels.