According to the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 12 million people 40 years and over in the United States have vision impairment, including 1 million who are blind, 3 million who have vision impairment after correction, and 8 million who have vision impairment due to uncorrected refractive error. This particular set of conditions also effects growing numbers of youth and young adults, and together they form a community of all ages, genders races and ethnicities. The mission of the Washington State School for the Blind is to provide specialized quality educational services to visually impaired and blind youth ages birth-21 within the state of Washington. It is located in Vancouver, WA with a regional office in Pasco.
The Tiresias Institute will be a satellite facility and outreach center aimed at the entire spectrum of the visually impaired community. It will offer educational opportunities and career services, along with cultural and community support services for blind and visually impaired youth and adults in Seattle. It will also serve as a site to host short-term programs for students visiting from the main campus and throughout the state, so that they can benefit from engaging in the urban culture of Seattle. Although relatively small, this facility will provide vital educational, cultural and social opportunities to blind, visually impaired and sighted constituencies, and will be universally accessible. This project aspires to set the highest standards of architectural quality and environmental responsibility while also striving to physically inspire its students and visitors to explore and appreciate built and natural environments with all of their senses.
Images 1-6 Gateway Tiresias Institute for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Andreas Bakkeboe
Images 7-12 Tiresias Center for Visually Impaired and Blind; Multifamily Housing, Peter Ostergaard