Mill Neck Manor, a school for deaf and disabled children, occupies a handsome 86-acre campus on the North Shore of Long Island. The new Deaf Education Center became the principal academic facility. Overall the challenge was to program and design a building that incorporates traditional school spaces—classrooms, science labs, art studios, library, auditorium, and cafeteria—and accommodates the requirements of a student population with special needs. To achieve the optimal learning environment, particular care has been taken with lighting and acoustical design and with the introduction of computer and audiovisual equipment.
On the exterior, we sought to convey the status of the Deaf Education Center as the new focal point of the campus and to respect the Tudor-revival manor house and outbuildings on the estate. Recognizing that our 50,000 sq. ft. building could overwhelm the campus, we concealed its bulk with a carefully sited crescent-shaped plan. We controlled the scale by tucking the second floor into shed dormers, and we related the entire building to the campus through meticulous detailing of the familiar vocabulary of slate, stucco, and cast stone trim. Mill Neck Manor’s new Deaf Education Center creates a new center on campus while reinforcing the established traditions of the School.