On November 16, 2016, Gallaudet and The JBG Companies announced that Hall McKnight, an award-winning architectural practice from Belfast, Northern Ireland, had won the Gallaudet University International Design Competition.

The winner’s vision was described as offering an accomplished approach, combining poetic qualities with a deep sense of what Gallaudet is and should be. The competition jury praised the winners for their clear understanding of the University’s unique culture and ethos, and their natural affinity for working within deaf experiences.

Hall McKnight’s approach 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 several buildings. This project is the first time these design principles will be incorporated into a public space off the Gallaudet campus.

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