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A talk with Joe Jacoby of Jacoby Architects, Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.A.

What was the inspiration for the use of the rich red you chose?

We were trying to achieve the highest contrast possible to help visually impaired students with navigation and wayfinding. The entrances have a glowing red element using the Vanceva® Color interlayers to really mark the entrances with a major architectural feature. In our firm, we tested goggles that simulated different visual impairment conditions and, when we walked around the office, bright red features really stood out to us. 


Are any of the students at the school low vision so that the colors might be a benefit to them?

Half of the population they serve is blind or visually impaired. So, yes, the use of color enhances the experience for those who are low vision. For those who are fully blind, we used texture panels to help with navigation and wayfinding.


Did you look at other options to achieve the red before you landed on Vanceva interlayers?

Yes. We looked at many types of premanufactured glass with color tinting, but after testing about 20 different Vanceva variations with the layers, we landed on the red that glowed the most and provided the most contrast.


There is a lot of color splashed throughout the space. How was it used outside the stairwell?

We used a few other Vanceva colors to provide some small pops of color in each of the classrooms as well as in the “Snoezelen room,” which is a multisensory room for deaf-blind kids.


How was your experience with the color selector process as you were working on this project?

The sample builder on the site was very easy, and the samples came very quickly. Obviously, there was a fee for each sample, but we felt it was worth it—especially how customized we could get with each color.


Your firm is working on another project using Vanceva. What is it, and where will the glass be used?

We used a bright yellow Vanceva (VCV 4144) film on the next project we did for the Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind at the Elizabeth Delong School in Springville, Utah. We achieved the same level of contrast with the glowing yellow at the featured entries—using a backdrop of concrete and dark blues.


What is the reason for selecting Vanceva interlayers?

Total customization. We needed our yellow metal doors, yellow back-painted glass, and yellow gymnasium pads to all match exactly.


Project Details
Project Details

Project name: Openshaw Education Center, Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.A
Architect: Jacoby Architects |
Glass laminator: Northwestern Industries |
Glass installer: LCG Facades |
Project year: 2016
Awards: 2018 Interior Division Winner, Vanceva® World of Color Award™ | 2017 Honor Award, AIA Utah | 2016 Project of the Year K-12, Association of General Contractors of Utah | 2016 Most Outstanding K-12 Project, Utah Construction and Design
Size: 50,000 square feet
Budget: $14 million


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