This design research looked into the development of an expertise centre with 7 schools for deaf and hard of hearing students from years 0-20. How could a “campus” of structures truly express and reflect the world of vision and touch? Unique solutions were explored across two very different locations.

Seeing and feeling are the primary means of spatial awareness for the hard of hearing. Any design should recognise and reflect the sensibilities that evolve from the visual-kinetic mode of sign communication and the cultural identity that evolves from it. For example visual connections, over long distances and between floors in the building, would be critical.

On a very practical level most students commute to the location, using municipality provided buses, peak arrival and departure times had to be considered within all designs. On one site , linking to a new flexible transport hub, located at the edge of the city, could potentially maximise the use of drop off points. This in turn could connect to other desirable surrounding programmes, like sports and shopping. Generosity of site could provide certain safe, stress free solutions. On another site, a more city centred location, a tighter, smaller scale neighbourhood, though less generous, could potentially maximise informal and formal social contact for the students and staff and link visually and physically to mature local wildlife and adjacent waterways.

Date 2019

Location multiple studies, two locations in Amsterdam

Size 16000m2

Type Design study

Client Gemeente Amsterdam

Using Format