Founded in 1856, The Texas School for the Deaf serves deaf and hard of hearing students from across the state, providing publicly funded bilingual education that challenges students to reach their full potential. The Central Administration and Early Learning Center combines core administrative functions, meeting spaces, and learning spaces for the early education program in a new gateway building. Inspired by the school’s mission that students learn, grow and belong in a language-rich environment, masonry and wood elements utilize a panelized articulation reminiscent of building blocks and tectonic aspects of learning by touching. Similarly, the shape and syncopation of the entry portals are informed by the solids and voids created by hands during signing, symbolizing the growth of students through the act of communication. A sense of belonging is evoked by the inclusive curved forms of the generous gathering space overlooking the main lobby and throughout the building. The resulting spaces reinforce and enrich the language environment through architecture to create a gateway for both the campus and the future of the school.