Building a Sensory School

Back in 2017, we were contacted by architecture firm Penoyre & Prasad to collaborate on an inclusive therapeutic sensory design project for a new special school resource at Barlby Primary School in London.

The school had recently received a £39 million pound investment from Kensington & Chelsea Council to provide essential special needs education facilities that had previously been absent in the borough. As a result, families of children with disabilities and special needs were forced to travel out of the borough to access the educational support they needed. The council saw this priority problem as a priority that they needed to resolve.

With a September 2021 opening date in mind, our sensory team started planning and preparing for what was sure to be another inspirational sensory install.


Our Design

Our integrated design consisted of three different sensory areas that would become a part of the new Kensington Queensmill School site at Barlby. The Sensory Integration, Soft Play & AV Rooms were inspired to nurture student’s learning, development and growth.


The Body Shop: Sensory Integration Space

Body Shop room at Kensington Queensmill School

Designed to help students feel more comfortable and in control of their bodies, the Body Shop is the school’s in-house physiotherapy space. Through personalised sensory integration sessions, students will have the chance to develop their proprioceptive, vestibular, and motor skills by interacting with the swings, scooters and ramps placed in the room.

Soft safety padding lines the room’s walls and floors, offering comfort and protection while students actively explore the space.


Soft Play Room

The bright and colourful soft play room is an exciting space where students can let loose and have fun. Designed as a second space away from classrooms and learning, students have the opportunity to de-stress and centre themselves through sensory stimulation.

Students can bounce away on the trampoline, dive into the colourful ball pool, roll around in the soft roller tunnel, and climb, crawl and jump whilst joyfully traversing the large soft play shapes – building essential proprioceptive and motor skills.


AV Room

Inspiring, inclusive, and immersive AV rooms present the future of learning. Dynamic images and videos light up the walls and stimulate wandering minds, capturing attention, reducing stress, and making learning undeniably fun.

The rooms interactivity also lets students learn actively with their whole bodies, using their arms to pop bubbles, legs to kick a football, or their wheelchair to play a melodic tune on the xylophone.


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