Award winning Multi-Sensory Rooms in Cardiff.
Spacekraft's largest project to date is the Ty Gwyn Special School, in the Ely area of Cardiff. Ty Gwyn is a local authority day school catering for children and young people from 3 to 19 years who have profound and multiple learning difficulties, including some on the autistic spectrum who present with severe challenging behaviour. Long established at an ageing former hostel building in Penylan, the Ty Gwyn pupils and staff recently moved into the remarkable new £16 million purpose-built school building with state-of-the-art facilities for 150 pupils from the Cardiff and South East Wales area.
Funded by a School Buildings Improvement Grant provided by the Welsh Assembly Government, planning for the new school building began in 2007 and took three years to reach fruition, finally opening in September 2010. As various multi-sensory elements were to form an important part of the new school's facilities, Spacekraft became involved at a very early stage, initially only drafting proposals for several sensory areas and a hydrotherapy pool. Ultimately, however the multi-sensory aspects of the project became far more ambitious, leading to one of the biggest design and installation projects that Spacekraft have ever undertaken.
A key requirement was a common set of equipment across the entire school, with a sensory provision in all of the new classrooms in addition to specialised sensory developments in seven separate areas. Working closely with Cardiff County Council's Projects Design & Development team and building contractors Cowlin Construction, Spacekraft designed and installed portable sensory corners in each of the 22 classrooms, as well as creating 14 calming rooms (with softplay walls and sensory lighting) and eight withdrawal rooms (with softplay walls and soothing music) adjoining the classrooms.
In addition, Spacekraft also designed and installed a splashpool, a multi-sensory hydrotherapy pool with computerised sound and lighting, and a large Softplay room fitted with a ballpool, trampoline and Softplay geometric jungle. A separate sensory room incorporated a wide variety of interactive lighting equipment including projectors, infinity tunnels, fibre optic wall carpets and LED touchwalls. The school's main hall was transformed into a spectacular interactive music and drama theatre with Spacekraft's Sensory Theme Studio technology, enabling the pupils to control the environment with wireless switches and create a vast array of stunning digital backdrops for performances and events. The result was an award-winning development which has proved phenomenally successful with carers and pupils alike. The Council's Executive Member for Education and Lifelong Learning, Councillor Freda Salway said; "Ty Gwyn is a magnificent facility that truly is second to none. We are extremely proud to have such an outstanding provision in Cardiff which is a fantastic asset for vulnerable children and their families, providing them with high quality surroundings to meet their needs."