Tennessee School for the Deaf Residence Hall

The existing Tennessee School for the Deaf campus consisted of 22 twelve-bedroom cottages that housed the students attending the East Tennessee campus. To reduce operational costs and improve functionality, the State of Tennessee decided to build a new two-story Residence Hall that would house all of the students and provide community space for them to gather and socialize. The site for the Residence Hall was selected to provide a direct connection to the heart of campus while creating a large central green space for outdoor activity.

The students and administration at TSD wanted to ensure that the new Residence Hall would feel like home and aesthetically provide individuality similar to the existing cottages. Thus, the concept for the design includes a community core that provides public space and circulation to four houses that flank the core. The houses are distinguished aesthetically from the core through a change in form, color, and material while still tying into the aesthetics of the existing campus buildings. The core includes a double height social activity area, craft area, staff office, and building support spaces. The four houses are accessed via circulation surrounding the core and include kitchens, living rooms, laundry rooms, studies, staff stations, and student bedrooms and bathrooms.

Two of the houses include a single bedroom wing and the other two houses include two bedroom wings to give the campus flexibility when housing students based on grade, class size, and gender. The bedroom wings are further differentiated through single and double occupant suites. The houses are designed similar to a single-family set-up so students feel at home and have the opportunity to learn every day responsibilities such as cooking, laundry, and cleaning.

Project Details

  • Size:

    63,200 SF

  • Completed:


  • Location:

    Knoxville, TN

  • Client:

    State of Tennessee

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