Landmarks is a specialist college for people with learning difficulties and disabilities, located in Eckington, Sheffield. The college offers a variety of educational programmes for the students. The building was bought 3 years ago and converted into a college, however the interior layout hasn’t been specially/specifically designed to cater for people with disabilities and learning difficulties.
The college is located in a idyllic setting surrounded by greenery and a picturesque landscape, creating a tranquil environment for both the staff and students here.
After visiting the site, the staff made us aware of the current problems with the building and it was also clear to see for myself what the issues were which the staff wouldn’t so much notice not being designers.
Firstly, the space is too warm which is a problem which may affect the concentration of the students and may cause them to become frustrated and stressed. This it because the windows cannot be opened however the staff stated that there was air conditioning, but it didn’t seem very effective at this time.
There is only 1 disabled toilet which is quite small and wouldn’t be practical if a student in a wheelchair was trying to wheel in and out of the toilet. This is definitely one of the biggest problems as this could also be a safety hazard.
The corridor leading through the ground floor of the building is quite narrow, and the dark purple and blue walls are quite dim and unappealing. The purple and blue colour scheme could still be implemented in the refurbishment but in a different way which opens the space up and makes it seem less enclosed.
The teachers at the college said that the sensory room was full of equipment with a value of 26,000. It wasn’t said how often the room was used or in fact how effective it was, but I believe the room could definitely be improved at a small cost.
The sensory garden is a large outdoor space for the students, here they can enjoy some fresh air, grow vegetables in the green house and play football. There are no other pieces of equipment in the garden which was unusual, as I think the garden could be a great breakout space and if designed effectively could really stimulate the brains of the students and also influence social activity between the students which is very important.