Architectural Spotlight: Salvation Army – Lawson Ministries Autism Centre

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Salvation Army –  Lawson Ministries Autism Centre
533 Main St East
Trevor Garwood-Jones & Hanam Architects
Built: 2010

Built in 2010, the Salvation Army –  Lawson Ministries Autism Centre was the last building designed by the late architect Trevor Garwood-Jones.

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The centre’s distinctive architecture manages to fit seamlessly within the streetscape. It achieves this through its compatible scale with a high-peaked roof, punched windows, and house-like feel.

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The exterior of the building consists of a yellow compressed concrete cladding, as well as a subtle black cladding along the bottom and sides of the building. The bold yellow cladding creates a uniqueness that separates the centre from its neighbours.

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A rooftop patio provides outdoor space to the small infill lot. The frameless glass panels provide an enclosure that more defines the surrounding space.

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The entrance of the building has a suspended canopy with an accented wood underside. The porch-like entrance signifies the transition between public and private space.

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Inside the building, many of the outer walls consist of a glass block paneling, allowing natural light while maintaining privacy.

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The reception space has some notable features such as an elevator (the building is completely accessible), wood accenting, and a bright orange wall that adds visual weight to the hallway.

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The peaked ceiling is highlighted with timber bolted trusses, providing the reception space with a rustic feel.

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A feature room of the centre is the Snoezlen Room. This room offers therapeutic multisensory stimulation through the use of lighting, sounds, colors, scents, and other senses.

Other rooms in the centre include multi-purpose rooms, a literacy room, café, meeting room, offices, and a mini gym.

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