New Mexico Deaf Cultural Center

Albuquerque, New Mexico

Innovative design makes open quarters a welcoming space for New Mexico’s deaf community

With an ambitious program and a limited two-story space of 10,000 square feet, the center’s functional requirements were carefully situated in the multi-use environment.

 The ground floor will be an open plan and functions as an exhibition area that can be used for events, and also as a kitchen for cooking demonstrations. The entrance will serve as a reception area and gift shop, and also is tailored to host large groups of visitors. The second floor will contain a boardroom, an open multimedia studio, offices, museum and archives. Design details such as moveable walls and screens enable the space to expand or contract to accommodate groups of two to 200 people.

 D+P’s design approach addressed the unique considerations of deaf people through design, layout, organization, and visual diction. Central to this design is the use of a vibrant color palette that allows visitors to relate to the space visually. Other considerations include ledges placed throughout the center so that hands can be free for signing. Glass panels between offices create sightlines for communication. 

Sign language graphics design by deaf artist will incorporate throughout the building in the carpet design, the door handles, and staircase medallions. These iconic symbols are artistic interpretations of the hand signs for the words culture, inspire, resonate, preserve, fresh, and community.