A first-of-its-kind, purpose-built facility for severely mentally handicapped children in Hong Kong
The project brief for Caritas Lok Kan School was to design a Special School for Severely Mentally Handicapped Children and it is the first-of-its-kind purpose-built facility for severely mentally handicapped children in Hong Kong which aims to prepare them to cope with the simple tasks of daily life.
The foundational concept of the severely mentally handicapped school is to teach the severely mentally handicapped students to learn how to cope with a normal life. Simple things like walking, toilets, and eating are challenging tasks for them to learn. It also welcomes parents to participate in the school daily works so that they can also learn how to take care of their children after they leave the school aged 18.
Within the site area and budget constraint, the architects wished to assist the school and parents by a careful architectural planning and design. To help the students to differentiate the concept of at school and at home, the school complex is divided by a prominent feature wall and courtyard garden. The boarding house which is their home is designed to be on the ground floor, not like the other typical facilities in Hong Kong, which helps to improve the accessibility, safety and management of students.
The school comprises ten classrooms and a boarding section contained in a 2-storey block, completed by the U-shaped building around the courtyard. Building elements are articulated to ensure a human scale and cosy ambience yet maintaining a contemporary outlook with muted colours and materials, clean lines and simple planes.