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The MarketPlace at Gallaudet University

Washington, DC
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Project Details

BKP renovated five spaces located in the I. King Jordan Student Activities Center at Gallaudet University — the MarketPlace, a 1990’s era retail food service; the Rathskellar, a center of social gathering and informal seating area; Gender Inclusive Restrooms; Interfaith Sanctuary and the Student Kitchen —to cater to the current needs & expectations of the student body and community.

Being a world-renowned institute for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, Gallaudet has been a trailblazer in changing ways in which the architecture and the design industry engage with the needs of their community.

BKP incorporated DeafSpace Principles as well as Universal Design Principles, ADA regulations, and sustainable features to the new design —from materials for furniture making, solid color selections to providing sightlines, every detail is crafted for a multisensory experience. New millwork and layout ease queuing congestion while increasing the number of food options. New lighting and finishes bring to life the formerly dark space. Mirrors are mounted on the wall at the built-in bench to allow a visual connection with the surrounding area when seated facing the wall.

The new MarketPlace features exciting food options including brick oven pizza, dedicated Grab and Go, Global Fusion & Noodle Bar. Floor tiles with contrasting color & texture is incorporated to aid the specially abled students with way finding. Clear sightlines and solid colors minimalize visual distraction allowing for easy ASL communications.

Located in a windowless area, this multi-purpose space welcomes all faiths and denominations. The benches are custom millwork designed to be arranged into different configurations for various religious services settings. The benches contain accessories for each type of service as well as room for the storage of shoes and other items. Adding a custom made light fixture in the existing circular ceiling coffer along with using preserved green wall in the entry vestibule brings nature into the space.

BKP collaborated with JSA/MIXdesign to make inclusive restrooms a reality at Gallaudet University. Each restroom features two fully enclosed private stalls and a shared sink area. Both of the stalls are ADA accessible, one an ADA family care stall and one is designed to meet ambulatory standards.

  • Client

    Gallaudet University

  • Cost

    $6 Million

  • Size

    3,600 SF

Images © Jeffrey Totaro

“We managed to create inclusive, multi-user restrooms -- that might not be recorded in the history books of architecture but are historic. I believe this project will have ripple effects not just within Gallaudet, but beyond.”