ELIZABETH DELONG SCHOOL
Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind
Jacoby Architects designed and programmed the second location for the Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind, “a new facility providing education, therapy, and services for varying levels of sensory, behavioral, physical and cognitive abilities.
Providing navigational points of reference and clear wayfinding in and out of the building became a necessary design concept when developing the form and selecting materials.” (Jacoby Architects) Using various 3D texture patterns lining each of the corridors, blind children easily navigate from classes to general building areas with confidence. Texture truly becomes a foundational form by providing direction and self-awareness to each child.
“Wayfinding became a necessary design concept”
“The textures help our students know where they are in space.”
Sandra Peppin, Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments, shared, “The textures help our students know where they are in space. When they touch the ‘wavy wall’, named by a student, they know they are in their preschool hallway and near their classroom.” Jacoby Architects intentionally specified numerous textures so as children turn a corner and the texture pattern changes, children are familiar with their location and can easily move through the building.
The sense of touch is foundational in all learning environments but especially at USDB for children who are not able to see. Peppin said, “Without sight or less visual sensory information, our students use touch to compensate for their vision loss to gain information about their surroundings and to enhance their experience and understanding of the world.
The Soelberg texture patterns have impacted the lives of our children at USDB. Our students feel joy in their school because they can feel the school and identify where they are. With a variety of textures and high contrast colors, they can learn what wavy, bumpy and rough feels like through touch.” (Sandra Peppin)
We are so grateful to have participated in this project as our passion for texture proves a true partnership in form and function.
“Our students feel joy in their school.”
“They can feel the school and identify where they are.”