Areas of Study

Finalists Selected In Second Stage of Design Competition

Gallaudet University announced on October 15, 2015, that it has selected four finalists to compete in the second stage of its international design competition to select an architectural firm for its 6th Street development project.

Established in 1864, Gallaudet University is the world’s only liberal arts university in which all programs and services are designed to accommodate deaf and hard of hearing students.

Working in conjunction with London-based competition organizers Malcolm Reading Consultants and Chevy Chase, Md.,-based The JBG Companies, the two-stage design competition seeks an outstanding multidisciplinary design team to create a new campus gateway and redefine the university’s urban edge as a vibrant, mixed-use, creative and cultural district.

“The design competition is an important first step in one of the most dramatic neighborhood revitalizations the District has seen in some time,” said Fred Weiner, assistant vice president of Administration at Gallaudet and CEO of the Gallaudet University Foundation. “This integration into the surrounding community will allow for greater opportunities for our students, faculty, and staff to engage with those that live and work alongside us, and for those outside the campus boundaries to better understand our culture and the deaf ways of being.”

The project will feature “DeafSpace” design principles, which are based on the knowledge that the built environment, largely constructed by and for hearing individuals, presents a variety of challenges to which deaf people have responded with a particular way of altering their surroundings to fit their unique ways-of-being.  Examples of DeafSpace design elements can be found on the Gallaudet campus in two of its buildings. This project is the first time these design principles will be incorporated into a public space, off the Gallaudet campus.

“We were delighted that there was such a high level of interest on an international scale in this project,” said Hansel Bauman, executive director for Campus Design and Planning and campus architect at Gallaudet. “The four finalists demonstrated an appreciation of Gallaudet as a unique institution of bilingual learning as well as an understanding of the nuances associated with different ways of addressing spatial awareness through a deaf lens. It is truly a revolutionary approach to how we construct the world around us. We look forward to the next phase of the competition.”

A selection panel consisting of Gallaudet students, faculty, and staff; The JBG Companies; Malcolm Reading Consultants; and several architectural advisors decided on the finalists.

The design teams that have been named as finalists in the competition are:

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

The four finalists will engage the project’s diverse community of stakeholders in a series of interactive workshops to be held at Gallaudet University the week of October 19 and will submit their final design proposals by January 2016. A jury comprised of Gallaudet University and JBG representatives will be joined by the British architect, David Adjaye, designer of Washington, D.C.’s Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture, and U.S. architect Lisa Findley, professor of architecture at the California College of the Arts, to select the winning team which will be announced in February 2016.

Gallaudet University, federally chartered in 1864, is a bilingual, diverse, multicultural institution of higher education that ensures the intellectual and professional advancement of deaf and hard of hearing individuals through American Sign Language and English. Gallaudet maintains a proud tradition of research and scholarly activity and prepares its graduates for career opportunities in a highly competitive, technological, and rapidly changing world.

Headquartered in Chevy Chase, Md., The JBG Companies is a private real estate investment firm that develops, owns and manages office, residential, hotel and retail properties. The company has more than $10 billion in assets under management and development in the Washington, DC area. Since 1960, JBG has been active in the areas where it invests, striving to positively impact local communities. For more information, please visit or find us on Twitter @TheJBGCompanies and Facebook

London-based Malcolm Reading Consultants (MRC) is a strategic architectural consultancy which specializes in the selection of contemporary designers. MRC believes in the power of design to create new perceptions and act as an inspiration – whether at the local level or internationally.

The consultancy offers a service to find the very best designers for clients with capital projects, whether through open-international, or private-invited competitions. Recent competitions include those for the Guggenheim Helsinki, the Art Mill, Qatar, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park’s Culture & Education Quarter, the Mumbai City Museum, the UK Pavilion at Milan Expo 2015, and New College, Oxford.

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