Nineteenth-Century Roots, Twenty-first Century Vision

Campus Design & Planning

Discover our campus' fascinating past and the exciting future we have in store.

Hanging in the balance between our campus’ roots and our vision for the future, the Campus Design and Planning is responsible for maintaining our historic campus while developing concepts capable of meeting the needs of our growing university.

We owe it all to Fredrick Law Olmsted–the designer behind New York City’s Central Park and the U.S. Capitol’s western terrace–who in 1866 designed our beautiful campus. Now a National Historic Landmark District, our campus covers 99 acres of land and 2.5 million square feet of academic, residential, and support buildings, including the Laurent Clerc National Deaf Education Center–All in the heart of Washington, D.C.

Ongoing Campus Revitalization

​​In 2013, the District of Columbia’s Zoning Commission approved the Gallaudet University 2022 Campus Plan, the University’s vision for campus development for 2012 to 2022

Funding: Total revenues and other support for FY2021 were approximately $195.9 million

Endowment: As of the end of FY2021, the University’s endowment was approximately $239.9 million

Community Impact: Gallaudet is one of the area’s largest businesses, with direct salaries, wages, and benefits totaling more than $116.4 million in FY2021

The University spent another $89 million on goods and services and $17.2 million on capital improvements.

Since 2012, Gallaudet has constructed two new residence halls and renovated 14 buildings.

DeafSpace

In 2005 architect Hansel Bauman of HBHM Architects partnered with our ASL and Deaf Studies Programs to develop the DeafSpace Project (DSP). What transpired were the DeafSpace Guidelines, a system of 150+ architectural design elements that address the five major touch points between deaf experiences and the built environment.
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DeafSpace at Gallaudet

A few ways we’ve been able to incorporate DeafSpace design into our campus:

Group Space

Classroom settings are designed with seating in a U-shape or semi-circle to ensure you’re able to communicate with anyone in your class continuously.

Walkways

Wide walkways and stairwells provide enough room for two individuals to walk parallel with enough space to sign. Sloping walkways ensure you’re able to keep your conversations going without interruption due to your surroundings.

Visual Range

We’ve developed a heavily visual environment with aspects such as transparent elevators, glass raining, and pedestal terraces to give you a visible range that carries across an entire room.

Group Space

Classroom settings are designed with seating in a U-shape or semi-circle to ensure you’re able to communicate with anyone in your class continuously.

Walkways

Wide walkways and stairwells provide enough room for two individuals to walk parallel with enough space to sign. Sloping walkways ensure you’re able to keep your conversations going without interruption due to your surroundings.

Visual Range

We’ve developed a heavily visual environment with aspects such as transparent elevators, glass raining, and pedestal terraces to give you a visible range that carries across an entire room.

Color and Light

We utilize blues and greens in our design to contrast with most skin tones enough to reduce eye strain. Diffused and directional lighting methods ensure the right places have light at the right time.

Reflection

We utilize mirrors and other reflective surfaces to let you know if someone is approaching you from behind.

Transparency

Transparent or opaque doorways and class passageways ensure you always know what’s happening inside or outside your classroom.

Color and Light

We utilize blues and greens in our design to contrast with most skin tones enough to reduce eye strain. Diffused and directional lighting methods ensure the right places have light at the right time.

Reflection

We utilize mirrors and other reflective surfaces to let you know if someone is approaching you from behind.

Transparency

Transparent or opaque doorways and class passageways ensure you always know what’s happening inside or outside your classroom.

The Signing Ecosystem

Discover the new and innovative ways we’re expanding the Signing Ecosystem.