International Week Of Deaf People

Silk Tree Park

© Nima Ghanei

Silk Tree Park is the first public domain area in Tehran designed in accordance with spatial guidelines for deaf and HOH individuals. The design was premised around how responding to special needs can enrich the design, and how the design of natural and built environments can foster playful interaction and empathy between people from all walks of life.

Core design strategies included circular seating spaces ranging in radius from 2.80 meters to 5.50 meters; an ideal distance to facilitate deaf visual dialogue. The circular seating also encourages friendly interaction and engagement between strangers as the arrangement acts as a gathering space for all users. To further bolster safety and comfort, the circular seating has entrances facing walkways. Aside from these entrances, each seating space is surrounded on all sides by vegetation and greenery to prevent sudden or accidental approaches from an angle that is not visible to HOH individuals.

Lightweight doubly curved parasols are designed with angled stems to minimize visual obstructions. Furthermore, the parasols are designed with height and canopy measurements that balance light and shadow, as high contrast light and shadow also prevent visual legibility during the signing.

Silk Tree Park is designed to include all ages and a range of physical abilities. All spaces are connected with a single flat surface that allows anyone with difficulty walking or using a wheelchair to easily access the public space. There are two flat areas measured to standard for casual sports such as volleyball and small court football, and children can skate and ride their bikes.