Blossom Heights Child Development Center
The school acknowledges its context in a neighborhood of warehouses, commercial buildings, and tear-down houses, but also recalls the area’s past identity as a residential enclave. The project links the gentle scale and use of a preschool to its inhospitable surroundings in an optimistic gesture to push the neighborhood’s identity back toward its more urbane origins.
The roof and building volumes are developed from modules. A more intimate scale is achieved by articulating the gaps and slips between roof and building modules in order to frame a pedestrian experience in the empty landscape.
Once inside the complex, visitors are within a cloister for living and learning. The boundary between classroom and playground is minimized with retractable glazed walls. The alternating roof surfaces of metal and grass suggest a slipping, incomplete frame of the interior landscape which is enclosed on 3 sides. The classroom spaces are framed by the low grass roof above and grass court surface below to create another slip- the slight alteration of the horizon within the courtyard.
Water is collected at the bend in the classroom volume The opening in the bend allows air into the low classroom space for venting to the solar chimney at the opposite end of the module. Administrative offices will occupy a salvaged house and professional offices to be leased to occupational and speech therapists front the street to the north.