Gallaudet University’s new Living and Learning Residence Hall 6 reflects breakthrough concepts in promoting community building, visual language, and collaboration for students of the world’s leading university for deaf and hard of hearing students.
The building features suite-style residences for students as well as faculty and graduate student apartments. An extension of the public spaces of the campus, the ground floor accommodates community spaces including a large, terraced living room, classrooms, offices, and a flexible collaboration (CoLab) studio. The application of DeafSpace Guidelines informed the design to promote interaction through clear sight lines and open spaces, and create thoughtful connections and adjacencies.
A PLACE TO CONNECT AND COMMUNICATE
Gallaudet University sought an environment in which deaf and hard of hearing students could converse safely and easily through unimpeded sign language and visual communication. The architecture of LLRH6 enables free-flowing conversation, including measures such as open stairs and broad ramps, wide corridors for side-by-side conversation, ample use of glass to allow for expansive vistas, tiered floors to preserve clear sightlines, paint colors that minimize glare, and carefully tested acoustical ceiling solutions to reduce ambient noise.
“The residence hall represents a holistic example of best practices involving optimum space, better light, adequate proximity, calibrated color, and good acoustics—factors that matter a great deal (but not exclusively) to the deaf.”