SFS Architecture

  • Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders

    Columbia, MO

    Existing building renovated to create a warm, welcoming environment that responds to unique needs of the children and parents it serves.


    Adapt an existing building to create an environment by that supports the Thompson Foundation’s mission of improving the lives of individuals with autism and neurodevelopmental disorders, providing a welcoming environment that responds to the unique needs of the children and parents it serves.


    SFS Architecture provided multiple concepts for the relocation of the Thompson Center’s facility into an existing building on the University of Missouri campus, reviewing all options with administration and staff to ensure that the final concept met functional requirements and addressed the needs of visiting children and their families.


    The resulting facility is a fully functional, sustainable space that addresses unique needs and can be flexible as needs change and the foundation’s mission evolves. It currently includes classrooms, offices, research project space, waiting rooms with private counseling rooms, a small hospitality café, and spaces for conducting diagnosis and therapy. The center’s physical design minimized visual detailing, which can distract and confuse a child with autism, while providing a warm environment through the use of materials and finishes. Indirect lighting has been utilized to reduce glare from lighting sources while providing a unique, comfortable environment.