October 8, 2021
A Children’s Center at Stanford University Provides an Alternative to Traditional Preschool
On the three-acre site, the design team created multiple buildings that jog around mature blue oak and Chinese elm trees to maximize outdoor play space and natural shade. In lieu of specifying traditional playground equipment, the architects brought in Miller Company Landscape Architects to design “natural playgrounds,” tailored to suit various age groups. An outdoor kitchen provides teachers with an area to conduct demonstration cooking classes.
Indoors, daylight filters through clerestories and sliding glass doors. (However, the infant nap area is designed so it can be readily dimmed.) To give the teachers more agency to design their own environments, the architects gave the classrooms mostly white walls, adding touches of color inspired by native flowers to create a visual identity for each group of classrooms. “For a long time, childcare was neglected architecturally, but bringing good design to children is important,” says Dorman
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