Dirk Durrer

Dirk Durrer


Huis van de zintuigen: Een veilige haven voor blinden en doven

It must become a ‘House of the Senses’, which is also available to deaf-blind people and blind people. Hearing, seeing, smelling, feeling and tasting can also be examined and treated there. The question is how you can play on the senses by means of architecture. By switching off one of the senses, you rely even more on the others. One sense functioning badly can be compensated for by another sense.  Furthermore, the choice of material can be influenced by touch and smell.

If you are deaf, you do not hear and speech does not develop after birth. If the speech does actually develop, this is very difficult to understand. How is it possible to learn how to talk if you do not hear your own voice and cannot correct it. A deaf person who can talk is like a blind painter who paints a landscape.

Deaf space
Deaf people have a strong sense of community and often feel connected with a building. The space that exists can give a good feeling. Light is necessary to be able to see the place where we live. How is light and space formed? What are concept and space made up of? What is necessary in order to understand the building and to navigate one’s way there? Openness means no boundaries. Let the space flow through the building. You must feel at ease everywhere and be able to see each other in the building You must also be able to have a private discussion. You must be able to walk through the building easily, but there must also be surprises and it must be possible to organise different things at the same time. A staircase offers the opportunity to see others through the open space.

Space that consists of free-flowing circular movements is linked to the invented anthropological term ‘maluma’ and is the soft, flowing essence of deaf language and culture. Deaf people can see each other better in a semi-circle opposite each other. ‘Takete’ is the opposite of ‘maluma’ and is a rigid, sharp and angular aesthetic.

Commission members: Chris Scheen (mentor), Machiel Spaan, Jeroen Spee. Additional members for the examination: Ira Koers, Micha de Haas.

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