This early childhood education center takes advantage of the natural environment to provide a progressive learning environment
Oakland University’s School of Education and Human Services was looking to relocate their Lowry Center for Early Childhood Education. They wanted the new building design to promote best practices in early childhood education, with classrooms equipped to meet the developmental needs of children 18 months to 5 years old.
Our team was engaged for site analysis and selection, programming, architecture, and interior design services. A challenge to consider was how to support multiple building functions while maintaining security and safety. Here, we took advantage of the site’s slope to create separate-level entries for the various uses while maintaining a safe environment—the building design responds to the hillside by following the natural contours, also allowing for maximized views of nature. We separated the four-story building into two wings by a large glass central atrium open to all floors with a large clerestory above. We managed to control solar heat gain while also providing views to the natural surroundings by using overhangs, sun shading devices, and carefully selected glass types in the exterior building envelope design.
The Lowry Early Child Education Center gives Oakland University’s College of Education students a progressive environment in which to learn and practice, and children of the community a great place to establish a lifelong love of learning.
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