Gallaudet University Launches $60M Public Competition to Redesign Its Campus

Gallaudet University Launches $60M Public Competition to Redesign Its Campus

Gallaudet University, the world’s only university for deaf and hard of hearing students, has launched an international competition to re-design its historic Washington DC campus. Participants will be challenged to "create a new campus gateway and redefine the University’s urban edge as a vibrant, mixed-use, creative and cultural district." Design proposals are not required during the competition's first stage; teams will be shortlisted based on their "understanding of the institution and project, team composition and past experience."

Up to five teams will be shortlisted in the competition's second (and final) stage, where they will receive an honorarium of $50,000 each to craft design proposals. 

“Gallaudet is a place like no other in the world.  We’re witnessing Washington, D.C.’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.” - Fred Weiner, CEO of the Gallaudet University Foundation and Director of the 6th Street Development

The competition will also be asking for ideas, insights and inspirations from the Gallaudet community, and supporters, both stateside and internationally, through the Shape Gallaudet initiative. As the competition organizer, Malcolm Reading reports: "The best insights will be incorporated in the briefing to shortlisted design teams at the beginning of the competition’s second stage. The competition will be the first time DeafSpace Guidelines, developed at Gallaudet, will be applied to the public realm."

The original campus, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted in 1866, is protected by the National Register of Historic Places and is characterized by its many Gothic landmarks. The new design will focus on this historic core, and its surrounding public spaces, exploring cultural exchange and innovation. The university’s reputation as a center for deaf research, culture and design is expected to be central to the competition brief.

Full details of the competition and how to enter a Request for Proposal (for design teams) or submit ideas and insights to the Shape Gallaudet initiative (community and supporters) are available on the dedicated website:

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Cite: Eric Oh. "Gallaudet University Launches $60M Public Competition to Redesign Its Campus" 08 Aug 2015. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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