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    Student work.
Academy of Music for the Blind
Senior Thesis Project, 2010
The Academy of Music for the Blind is a highly specialized and unique learning environment for blind children who seek to develop and enhance their musical abilities. With the loss of sight, other senses become heightened. Some possess extraordinary gifts of musical memory and imagery to compensate for the lost sense.The school will nurture this gift, creating an environment for students to express their talents.

Rain creates an atmosphere where one can hear the landscape. It creates dimensionality, allowing the visually impaired to experience and visualize their surroundings. The space focuses on sensational experiences created by rain, including light, shade and shadow, color stimulation, sounds, air flow, textural changes - all which should invoke feelings of rain on a landscape. The environment will be seen, felt and heard.

"Rain has a way of bringing out the contours of everything; it throws a colored blanket over previously invisible things; instead of a fragmented world, the steadily falling rain creates continuity of acoustic experience..."   - John Hull, blind author

The main entrance to the performance hall encompasses a grand staircase leading to the second-level mezzanine and upper entrance to the performance hall. To the right, a main corridor leads to the braille music library, teaching facilities and administration offices.

Each area is filled with with sensory experiences, including the back-lit stacked-glass water feature which creates dramatic
lighting, shade and shadows and has the calming sound of rain. The main corridor wall features art installation by Claudy Jonstra, which has a dramatic green textured felt material resembling moss, back-lit 3Form panels resembling rain and quotes on the wall in both braille and the written word. A main path of travel is defined by various textures in the floor, resembling a garden path.

Most public outdoor areas become a danger to the non-sighted. The green roof-top deck at AMB gives students a safe retreat to gather and enjoy the outdoors. The space will be used for day-today gatherings and evening performances
on the covered stage. Nana pocket-doors open up the exterior to the interior space.

The green rooftop deck will help reduce energy cost while the trees, grass and plantlife give the deck a peaceful and serene environment. A water feature/bench and sand-box complete the space, offering additional sensory experiences.

To help fund this not-for-profit organization, the site is open to fund-raising events,such as featured guest performances, lectures and gala events, alongwith student performances.The first level of the performance hall features 116 seats. The second level features 38 seats for a total capacity of 154. A seond floor mezzanine features comfortable lounge-stye seating and wheelchair accessible areas.

Walls in the performance hall dramatically define the space. They wedge in and out creating contours and areas to inset sophit lighting for overall room ambiance. The walls and ceiling slant inward towards the stage to enhance overall acoustics in the theater. The wooden walls are treated with wooden perforated groove panels to control sound absorbsion and enhance overall acoustics. Stage lighting sits within pockets created by the slanted wedges in the ceiling.



Performance hall, rooftop deck and braille music library.