An existing one-story brick and steel warehouse structure in Hunt Valley has been transformed into a K-12 school for autistic children.

The facility, which is part of the Sheppard Pratt Health System, provides classrooms, offices, and special educational development spaces, including a playground specifically designed for autistic children. The program is organized to bring maximum daylight into the interior through skylights and the arrangement of classrooms around the perimeter.


  • Creation of high-performance learning environments for special needs students
  • 28,650 sf renovation of educational facility


  • AIA Baltimore, Honorable Mention
  • American Association of School Administrators and AIA Citation
  • AIA Maryland, Merit Award
  • Inform Magazine Merit Award

Keeping it Calm

Driven by a tight budget and a need for more space, minimal changes were made to the exterior of this former warehouse including a new colorful canopy, signage, windows and stair railing, and sensitively placed vibrant paint colors. A welcoming internal “main street” draws visitors and students into the common heart of the school. A calming palette of soft colors is used to modulate long corridors and accentuate special working areas in classrooms and shared spaces. Color, texture, and pattern in the multi-purpose room stimulate students. Classrooms are zoned to accommodate student-teacher activity within the room.