Location: Washington, D. C.
Project type: child care center
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Child Development Center serves 100 infants, toddlers and preschool children for federal government employees. The glass facade of the new center is recessed behind massive concrete columns of the modernist HUD building. The lively interior contrasts with the subdued exterior as colors, shapes and the play of natural light evoke the creative spirit of children.
The site's unique location is within the curved arcade of the HUD building in Washington, D.C. The existing building is a cast-in-place concrete office building that was designed by Marcel Breuer, a master architectural modernist.
The design is an appropriate setting for children, conveying a sense of place while preserving flexibility for classroom reorganization. Ceiling heights, floor levels and wall configurations vary while making the facility fully accessible to the disabled. Plumbing fixtures are consolidated and shared where possible to reduce cost and to maximize the available floor space. The curvilinear shape of the existing building is used to create a variety of differentiated areas to serve the varied needs of children. Natural light and views are maximized while providing unrestricted visibility to the staff for security.