“Something inside me shifted. I mean did you notice the starry night modern version?! Deep man.” said Aakrid. “NO I DID NOT SEE IT!” came the instant curt reply from his friend. Now the fault is not that the friend didn’t SEE the painting in the Art Gallery, it’s the Art Gallery that didn’t LET him inside. Yes, the building didn’t allow him inside. You see, Aakrid’s friend, Sushil has been crippled since birth which rendered him wheelchair-ridden. No matter how wonderful the collection of the art pieces inside is, it’s of no use. The gallery, a public building, failed to serve the public, thanks to the twenty odd tread and riser leading to the high plinthed Modern Art Gallery.
Architecture aims at people’s comfort and experience. What kind of architecture is it if it does not cater to the people who are disabled? After all, disability is something everyone faces whether temporary or permanent.
People who are differently abled have constant pangs of anxiety, undergo stress; cope with life transitions, value changes, and experience disability issues across their life spans The cause of the above feelings are very many, but one prime cause which we can eliminate is by doing our job right: designing buildings with sensitive features.
Some of the famous inclusive architecture of recent times are Frank Lloyd Wright’s Laurent House, Rem Koolhaas’s Maison Bordeaux, Hazelwood School by Alan Dunlop Architects.
After looking into their anthropology suitable changes/features can be implemented. Most common ones are mentioned below.For ease of communication let’ s assume Sushil to be the person with disability.
This is a grand entrance to the interior that is going to house the public temporarily or permanently. When Sushil sees the wide entrance stretched enough for a comfortable walk with his crutches he feels no different from the rest of the people around him, this causes no break in his flow of walking and prevents a traffic jam near the doorway. An uncomfortable, awkward situation saved! Happy Sushil, happy everybody.
Every building wants to have a grand approach showcasing its monumental size and demands attention. One sensitive touch to the approach design goes a long way in effecting Sushil’s thoughts. He feels accepted and welcomed just like rest of the crowd. His anxiety reduces drastically and there is a sense of relief. All this, due to the addition of the ramp way along with the steps.
The dictionary defines restroom as : a room in a public building for people to relax or recover in with toilet facilities
We are human. The need to use the restroom is averaged to an interval of about 3 hours.
And as the name suggests, the place is devoted to making people feel atmost comfortable. In the case of sushil, comfort comes with large enough space for him to wade through. When this is achieved, true comfort reaches every single person utilising the restroom. Happy Sushil, happy everybody.
The essence of building and spaces has a strong influence on the quality of people’s lives. Decisions about the design, planning and management of places can enhance or restrict a sense of belonging. They can increase or decrease feelings of security, stretch or limit boundaries, promote or reduce mobility and improve or inhibit health. They can eliminate real and imaginary barriers between individuals and foster understanding and generosity of spirit.
Ranjana S Kashyap
MS Ramaiah Institute of Technology