Designing the largest Childcare Center in Chicago, for 320 kids, brings challenges of scale and density to an environment that must be safe and nurturing for children. Utilizing nature as the design driver, four elements; wind, water, earth and sky were used to divide the Center into manageable size areas that distinguish grade levels and help kids and parents find their neighborhood.
The heart of the center is the two story Atrium/Multipurpose space where reading, dancing, acting and puppet shows allow all age groups to mingle as well as parents to converse as they pick up and drop off the children. Equally important, the two story space connects the two levels and allows the different age groups to stay connected as they grow older.
Natural wood combined with bright colors reinforces the four element theme and combines with a well orchestrated graphic design package to weave nature throughout this urban location.
Sustainable elements include a 90 ton Geothermal Heat pump system, displacement ventilation, radiant floors, LED lighting, recycled and renewable materials.