Designed in collaboration with Boston-based childcare design specialists, D.W. Arthur Architects, this 10,000-square-foot facility engages its young users with a colorful and tactilely-inviting material palette. From an exterior concrete wall punctuated with colorful and varied-size handholds to the sod-roofed play area adjoining the second–story classrooms, the design clearly focuses on its distinct user group. The program, consisting of classrooms, shared play spaces, and a kitchen/dining area, is based on a “family room” concept in which children of different ages are encouraged to interact in a communal space.
A contextual development—in visual dialogue with the adjacent hospital complex and its residential neighborhood—the center maintains an inviting street wall on its Broadway façade while creating privacy in the rear courtyard complex. The building is also responsive to its environment, featuring green play spaces, an underground geothermal heating system, sod-roofs designed to mitigate storm water run-off, and low-maintenance materials.