Minnesota State Academy for The Deaf, Wilkins Hall Dormitory
Posted: April 10, 2019 | Projects
Kodet Architectural Group worked with Minnesota State Academies, in Faribault, MN, to design Wilkins Hall, a new student dormitory building for the Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf.
Photo Courtesy of Morgan Sheff
The dormitory houses 60 deaf or hearing-impaired students, ages 6-18. Many of the students also have low vision, which required developing thoughtful design strategies for both the interior and exterior. Through collaboration and engagement the Kodet team designed a welcoming space for students to live, learn, and interact.
The dormitory building has a variety of room sizes and types based on the unique needs and circumstances of the individual users, and all spaces are fully accessible. The facility also includes common spaces, such as an activity room with food-service, and specialty rooms including education and life skills classrooms. These specialty spaces allow students a collaborative and flexible space to learn how to live independently through cooking, laundry, and financial management classes.
The exterior of the facility utilized locally-sourced stone and was designed to fit the context and character of the surrounding campus.
Kodet Architectural Group has a long history which emphasizes developing thoughtful design solutions that combine aesthetics and accessibility to accommodate unique programmatic needs. Designing spaces for low-hearing and low-vision users were built upon the ADA’s guidelines and includes acoustic considerations – ambient, mechanical, and material noise – as well as lighting. By designing the spaces to include diffused natural light, minimize corners and niches, while using simple texture and color variations, we were able to improve visibility between spaces. These details were combined with legibility of the floor plan to create a highly-accessible dormitory to meet the programmatic needs of these unique students.
The design team collaborated early to clearly identify strategies to guide team members through design and construction to achieve Minnesota B3 standards. Specific attention was focused on maintaining high indoor environmental quality through creative and intentional control of daylighting, lighting, vibrations, thermal comfort, and acoustics for a user demographic sensitive to light, sound, and vibrations.
Kodet Architectural Group worked closely with the Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf to assure the vision came to fruition in creating a warm atmosphere for students to learn, live, and interact. The team focused on the details to support this aesthetic and discovered innovative design solutions which incorporated form and function to fit their program and meet their needs now and into the future.
Building Envelope: Rivard Stone
Windows: Wausau Window & Wall System
Entrances, Storefronts & Curtain Wall: EFCO
Flooring: American Olean, Mannington
Lighting: Pendant, LumaShade
Kodet Architectural Group, Ltd.
15 Groveland Terrace
Minneapolis, MN 55403
Specialist Deaf Architect
Dickinson + Partners
425 W. Capitol Avenue, #1528
Little Rock, AR 72201
Buildings Consulting Group
2855 Anthony Lane, S., #200
Minneapolis, MN 55418
Mechanical & Electrical Engineer
Karges-Faulconbridge, Inc. Engineers
670 Country Road B, W.
Saint Paul, MN 55113
Hansen Thorp Pellinen Olson, Inc. (HTPO)
7510 Market Place Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344
Professional Project Management, Inc.
1858 E. Shore Drive
Saint Paul, MN 55109
Knutson Construction Services Rochester, Inc.
5985 Bandel Road, N.W.
Rochester, MN 55901
Date Bid: Oct 2016
Construction Period: Dec 2016 to Aug 2018
Total Square Feet: 22,776
Site: 3.3 acres.
Number of Buildings: One.
Building Sizes: First floor, 13,348; second floor, 9,418; total, 22,776 square feet.
Building Height: First floor, 14′; second floor, 17′; total, 31′.
Basic Construction Type: New/II B.
Foundation: Cast-in-place, slab-on-grade.
Exterior Walls: CMU, brick, curtain wall, lime stone.
Roof: Built-up, metal.
Floors: Concrete, precast, precast plank on second floor.
Interior Walls: Metal stud drywall, limestone.
KBTU/SF/yr: 56.67 Per Minnesota B3 Tables