Project: Life Without Limits Centre
Award: Colour in Architecture, Gold, 2022
Location: London, UK
Architect: EPR Architects
Client: Royal Society for Blind Children (RSBC)
Colour is integral to the UK’s first Life Without Limits Centre - a space for young people with varying levels of sight loss to meet, play and learn essential life skills. The scheme has transformed a basement car park in the Northern and Shell building, opposite The Shard, into an inclusive home away from home for young blind people. The existing site presented many challenges including a myriad of existing services, very low ceiling heights, no natural daylight, and the Thames River on one of the perimeter walls.
A variety of suites give visually impaired youngsters an opportunity to make friends, play music, paint, take part in performance workshops, record podcasts, learn how to cook independently and acquire career-building tech skills. The architects worked closely with the blind community to ensure the space is as inclusive as it is aesthetically pleasing.
The interiors feature a high contrast palette as well as colourful and tactile materials to improve sensory navigation of the space. The building also provides flexible workspace for the charity’s staff, event spaces for fundraising and supportive spaces for families learning to cope with blindness.
Large areas of colour are used to help zone the building and aid in wayfinding, and colour psychology has been incorporated to improve wellbeing, balance emotions, and maximise the impact of each room by complementing the activities it provides. Colours help users transition from one zone to another; warm colours mark the centre of the corridor with cooler colours noting the ends.
Photo credit: Gareth Gardner
CONTRACTOR: Tsunami Axis
SERVICES ENGINEER: Hollis
- PRINCIPAL DESIGNER: CDM Services