DePaul, a private not-for-profit organization committed to helping individuals achieve their optimum level of independence and success in the environment of their choice, worked with SWBR to design an affordable housing complex for the deaf and hard of hearing. The team worked closely with the Deaf community to understand the challenges of living without hearing, focusing on line-of-sight as a critical design element.
Each apartment’s open design creates clear sight lines between all rooms and entrances. Strategic lighting and a bright color palette are used to enhance visual communication. Technology enhancements like light-up doorbells and switches, videophones/intercoms, and alarms with strobe lights were added. Community areas purposefully incorporate glass between spaces. Computer lounges are oriented so users face open walkways. Wide corridors allow residents to walk while signing.
The resulting 61-unit Rochester View Apartments is an affordable, supportive, integrated community that celebrates Deaf culture and provides Deaf people a safe, friendly, comfortable living environment. “We are very pleased to provide this much-needed affordable housing option for income-eligible individuals in our community,” said DePaul President Mark H. Fuller.
NAIOP Award of Excellence
New York Housing Conference Community Impact Award