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Hall McKnight among finalists in US university contest

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UK-based Hall McKnight has been named on the shortlist in the competition to regenerate the 40ha Gallaudet University in Washington DC

The Northern Irish practice, which also has an office in London, is competing against three American teams to win the £40 million project to overhaul the school for deaf and hard-of-hearing students.

Founded in 1864, Gallaudet University is the only bilingual liberal arts university in the world, where classes are taught in both American Sign Language and English.

The contest, which is being run by Malcolm Reading Consultants, attracted 51 submissions from around the world.

Teams were asked to design a new Gateway Plaza, including a visitors’ pavilion and ‘conceptual proposals for a landmark building at the epicentre of the campus’.

The brief also called for the practices to transform the school’s historic Frederick Law Olmsted-designed core into a ‘vibrant, mixed-use, creative and cultural district’.

Shortlist in full:

  • Hall McKnight Architects with AECOM, Nomad RDC, Whybrow Wayfinding, L’Observatoire International, Dr Adams-Costa and Patrick Cullina (UK)
  • Kennedy & Violich Architecture with Richard Burck Associates, Landscape Architecture Bureau, Bohler Engineering, Small Design Firm, Tillotson Design Associates, Cavanaugh Tocci Associates, Pentagram, Jensen Hughes Associates, Buro Happold, Tarek Atoui and Jacob Shamberg (US)
  • Marvel Architects with Quennell Rothschild Partners, ARUP, Local Projects, James Lima Planning + Development, Future/City, Jim Conti Light Design, Doyle Partners, Tom Fruin (US)
  • MASS Design Group with Jeffrey Mansfield, DLR Group, TENxTEN, Small Stuff, Urban Ingenuity, Integral Group, Wendy Jacobs, Michael Gulliver, Chisato Minamimura and Sarah Pickthall (US)

David Hamilton, panel advisor and director of projects at Malcolm Reading Consultants, said: ‘We were impressed by the range and depth of the first-stage submissions. The quality of the entries made the shortlisting decision incredibly difficult.

‘To resolve this we created a semi-final stage in the process, encompassing 17 proposals.’

The four finalists will take part in a design conference at the university next week and are due to submit their concepts in January 2016.

The jury - which includes British architect David Adjaye and the professor of architecture at California College of the Arts Lisa Findley, will meet to select a winner in February 2016.

Previous story (AJ 02.09.15)

Leading deaf university opens £40m public realm contest

Gallaudet University has launched an international contest to regenerate its historic 40 hectare campus in Washington DC

The competition – organized by Malcolm Reading Consultants – seeks an ‘outstanding’ multidisciplinary design team to upgrade the pioneering school for deaf and hard-of-hearing students.

Founded in 1864, Gallaudet University is the only bilingual liberal arts university in the world where classes are taught in both American Sign Language and English.

The £40 million project will create a new campus gateway and transform the school’s historic Frederick Law Olmsted-designed core into a ‘vibrant, mixed-use, creative and cultural district’.

Participants will be expected to use ‘DeafSpace Guidelines’ – developed at Gallaudet – alongside input from the student community to shape their designs.

University chief executive Fred Weiner said: ‘We’re witnessing Washington DC’s rapid metamorphosis into one of the most dynamic cities in North America. 

‘But we’re also at the heart of the global deaf community, which is why we need an inspired team to create an environment that bridges the deaf and hearing worlds, celebrates human diversity, and has the potential to become a global model.’

The competition is open to multidisciplinary teams and collaborations featuring specialists in human behavior, performance arts and wayfinding are encouraged.

Five design teams will receive around £33,000 each to participate in the competition’s second stage.

Finalists will draw up designs for a new ‘gateway plaza’, enhanced public realm across the campus and a regenerated Olmsted Green.

Proposals must include a visitors’ pavilion located within the gateway plaza and a new landmark building at the centre of the university estate.

Shortlisted designs will feature in a public exhibition later this year and a winner will be announced in February.

The deadline for entries is 12 noon EDT on 1 October.

 

 

 

 

 

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