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This fall Manhattan STAR Academy, a school serving children diagnosed with autism and other developmental disabilities, opens its new Upper West Side location.
Designed by Gran Kriegel Associates, the 9,000-square-foot space spans the third floor of the new Lincoln Square Synagogue at 180 Amsterdam Avenue and features unique design considerations for students on the autism spectrum, including intimate social and transitional spaces, the use of calming colors and tactile surfaces, and indirect LED lighting to minimize contrast and reduce energy costs. Close attention to acoustical performance minimizes potential distraction and ensures speech intelligibility.
“We wanted to create a school designed with purpose and consideration for Manhattan STAR’s students. We researched special characteristics, color schemes, lighting, and textures that are known to form a calming atmosphere, reduce visual noise, and help the students focus and learn. Our architects believe in purpose-driven design and not a one-size-fits-all solution; we understand that each place we create will be used by a very unique set of individuals, and our goal is always to meet their