West Tennessee School for the Deaf

Jackson, TN
Photo © Jeffrey Jacobs
Photo © Jeffrey Jacobs
Photo © Jeffrey Jacobs
Photo © Jeffrey Jacobs
100 Berryhill Dr, 38301 Jackson, TN
1M - 100M
1-5 Stories

A functional and efficient recreation and physical therapy component was added to an existing campus. The facility includes a gym, a library, and classroom space.

The client desired a design that would create an efficient path from the existing school to the new addition, providing for safe and easy access to and from each building. Because the existing facilities lacked adequate outdoor shelter, the access path also needed to be covered to shelter students and faculty during bus drop-off and pick-up times.  

The long block wall that organizes the addition’s plan provides entry signage for the school, performs as the bus shelter, and works with the existing buildings to frame the school’s parking lot. The addition is comprised of two components: the gymnasium and the library. Because of budget constraints, a prefabricated metal building system creates the volume containing the gym and therapy rooms. This volume is defined by a sculptural roof canopy that floats above a smaller scale structure housing classrooms, a library, and services.

The smaller stick-framed structure extends beyond the shelter of the canopy, creating an intimate courtyard with the long wall and linking the addition back to the existing school buildings.

Materials for each structure were chosen to complement existing campus buildings and to integrate easily into the prefabricated metal building system. Also in consideration were client requirements for low maintenance materials.

Because the gymnasium is considered a therapy space, the client desired an open design to allow for plenty of daylight. The facility accommodates a multitude of school functions, including plays, meetings, and half-court basketball games.

The end result is an engaging learning facility that interacts with its context while creating a new icon for the school.

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