John F Kennedy ASD Satellite Provision at Lister Community School

The works for the JFK SEND provision form part of an expansion project at Lister Community School in Plaistow and provide a satellite provision for a total of 25 high needs ASD students aged 11-18 and consist of three general teaching classrooms, a specialist classroom, two calm rooms, a therapy room and offices. These are housed within the eastern wing of the school so that the unit can benefit from a connection to the mainstream school and facilities whilst being completely self-contained.

The architecture here is very much an enabler for happiness and wellbeing. The accommodation is designed to suit the specific and special needs of the ASD students and staff, with neutral but robust internal finishes to cater for challenging physical behaviour.

The landscape scheme provides a variety of secure and stimulating external spaces. An outside gym, trampoline and all-weather surfaces are balanced with sensory planting and growing garden planters.

A diffuse polycarbonate canopy links the entrance and classroom block and provides covered external play and chill out areas. The timber fence perimeter to the street ensures that the external spaces are calm, safe and distraction-free.

“We worked extensively with Rivington Street Studio on the design of our new autism unit. Interested in our learners’ needs and keen to provide design solutions to meet our required specifications, they made the process simple and efficient. The outcome has been a state-of-the-art resource with feedback from students, staff and parents unanimously positive.”

Jim Robinson, Headteacher at JFK Special School, Newham

  • Client:London Borough of Newham
  • Type:New build
  • Location:Plaistow, London
  • Status:Complete
  • Photography:© Seb Chandler