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Sailing Centre for the Blind

Part 2 Project 2005
Elvin Chatergon
University of Nottingham, UK
The project began with the concept of sound in architecture and non-visual methods of interpreting and navigating through space. Blind sailing is an activity which encourages independent non-visual navigation. The building is a reaction against the flawed and over-elaborate modern technologies that are available to ‘guide’ blind people. The low-tech structure appeals to an authentic and tactile experience of space and orchestrates a transitional journey between the land and water. The practice classrooms nestle on the lake, progressively becoming more open and reactive to the elements as one becomes more comfortable with the wind and water.
Elvin Chatergon

Architectural projects are usually expressed through forms of mediation that assume the able sightedness of the viewer. Rather than uncritically adopt familiar representation techniques, Elvin developed his project through the medium of sound. The scheme comprises recreational and ancillary facilities and a series of training pods: located on the land, the water and on the shore, the pods give the users a partial experience of sailing before embarking on the real thing. In the final presentation of the scheme, drawings and models are combined with a series of texts and soundscapes, which describe different routes through the building and landscape.

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