Virginia Commonwealth University and Medical Center (VCU/MCV) Child Care Center

Location: Richmond, Va.

Project type: day care center

Client: Virginia Commonwealth University


  • classrooms
  • playground
  • indoor commons
  • administrative offices

This child care center is a place of warmth and discovery for more than 160 children ranging in age from six weeks to five years. A spacious layout reinforces the directors' conviction that children learn from each other and that distractions can heighten the learning process.

The site for this facility was located on the lower level of a parking garage structure with limited access to exterior windows. The client wanted to incorporate as much natural light as possible, complete with an environment of fantasy filled with wonder and surprise. As project designer, James Clark of MTFA Architecture developed the program and design. Walking down the corridors of this new facility, the illusion of outdoor proximity is created by numerous patterned windows. The library, multipurpose room and each classroom offers a variety of spaces and materials. There are outside and adjoining classroom views, as well as places to crawl and play.