gunter, you said
I don't know, reading their website, the architects seem very pleased with it.
And, therein is the major problem.........the architects, the Council leaders and anyone else who could use this building as a photo opportunity, or as a plus on their CV or Conference circuit, fail to realise that THEY were not the focal point of this remit. It was a group of VERY profoundly disabled adults.......with little or no speech, doubly incontinent, and who had no comprehension of how to deal with over-stimulating noise/light.
White Top fails in its remit, BECAUSE it fails the end users. It rates 5* if you want to look at pretty things.
I imagine the architects were trying to create an uplifting space that would bring a measure of joy into the lives of the residents suffering with severe disabilities
How would anyone like to sit in an airport foyer, with constant noise, confined to a cathedral-like space which echoes over and over? Or where there is no respite from heat in the summer as so much of the building was made of glass.....with no way to shut out the strong sunshine ........for the reasons of cooling or to reduce the glare. The lack of flow of air is also a problem, caused by far too few opening windows and front and back doors which should be kept closed because of the SAFETY and SECURITY of the Service Users, and, so, you have a cauldron situation in hot summer days.......in both meanings....heat and tension.....and here I have to defend 100% the staff, as THEY seem always to cope.....it is the service users who the building is supposed to have been designed for who cannot cope with the design. The Respite flat section, however, is a triumph, now that it has been "tweaked", as is the Hydrotherapy pool (which has also had to be redesigned....having pebbles which were "design features" removed, as they were dangerous, together with other aspects of the original design of the pool area).
There is always the possibility that the residents do in fact enjoy the brightness and loudness of the building, but it's the staff who'd prefer if they'd all shut up and be docile.
"Brightness" can be dreadful for people with visual problems, and noise and overstimulation can be horrifying for anyone on the Autistic Spectrum.
I'm a mum of a former WTC Service User, and I have to say I take my hat off to the staff who are quite superb, and try to find inventive ways AROUND the design faults. Imagine placing a baby in a pushchair in a greenhouse, with loudspeakers blaring all day, and you get an idea of what the SERVICE USERS get out of this building's design.
To address the point you make about the Service users enjoying the brightness and loudness of the building, how much work would you get done sitting in a railway station/airport envirnoment, because THAT is what is being asked of the service Users at White Top.......there is very little respite ...or "quiet areas/rooms" to get away from the constant noise and over-stimulation. My own daughter has actually come on in leaps and bounds in a previously run-down hovel of a building, since she left White Top..........and this has absolutely nothing to do with the abilities/attitude/qualities of the staff at White Top, and everything to do with the building design.
Finally, I think it shows, by the lengths you have gone to, including besmirching staff who do an amazing job, to find SOME way of contending that the design is good for the end users...in ANY way,...... that people who are NOT directly involved with Profoundly disabled adults have SO LITTLE understanding of what THEIR needs actually are.
It should also be noted that by adopting this very expensive model, funds for other centres for disabled people were effectively put in that one basket....it has never been repeated, nor will it, I suspect.....and, so disabled adults in the city have their Centres housed in former "old folks homes", previously empty buildings, or buildings which were never built for the needs of this client group....but, hey, the VIPs had plenty of photo opportunities at Whitetop Centre.
A wee hint, don't let anyone at Dundee Social Work see you use the word "suffering" when describing disability
THEY get offended by words.