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Burkhart Center for Autism Education and Research

Individuals with autism experience a lifetime of support through thoughtful design

Austin, Texas

Individuals with autism looking for more support can now get it at The Burkhart Center for Autism. The 30,000-square-foot (9,100-metre) extension of Texas Tech University’s College of Education aims to increase the quality of life for individuals with autism throughout their lives.

Creating this specialized facility to meet the sensory and therapeutic needs of both adults and children with autism took certain knowledge. Our team had this knowledge, as well as the experience. Using our expertise, we considered a wide range of design elements from building layout, massing, and lighting, to acoustics and wayfinding. Our final design includes an expanded transition academy for adults—complete with a mock apartment to develop independent living skills, an outpatient behavioral therapy clinic, and a full-inclusion preschool.

Also featured are an outdoor play area and public art. These elements help enhance sensory therapy and connections to the natural environment. Through our design, the center can give individuals with autism all the support they need to experience life to the fullest.

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