Architects: Scott Edwards Architecture
Location: Hood River, OR, USA
Principal in Charge: Sid Scott
Project Team: Lisa McClellan, Jesse Graden, John Froning
Project year: 2008
Budget: US $2,000,000
Site Area: 43 Acre
Constructed Area: 762 sqm
Photographs: Pete Eckert
Bambinos International Learning Center is an organization which believes that their facilities should be much more than places where parents leave their children for care; they are dynamic learning environments in which children flourish. The facility accommodates 100 children aged 4 weeks to 12 years by offering Kindergarten, Pre-school, Toddlers, Infant and After School care.
The initial massing concept was inspired by a child’s toy blocks. The volumes that house classrooms are twisted in plan to create a playful feeling both inside and outside the building. The cedar wrapped boxes of the classrooms alternate with deeply recessed service areas, allowing the identity of each classroom to be expressed on the building exterior while a simple inverted truss roof provides a unifying element in contrast to the dynamic geometries.
A central lobby space flows to a covered exterior courtyard and intersects a single circulation spine which clearly organizes the building. The angled walls of the classrooms create eddies in the flow of traffic and encourages a variety of movement and play. The entry to each classroom is given a unique identity through the use of translucent wall panels that encase natural materials such as leaves, flowers and blades of grass.
Abundant natural light is introduced in to the interior of the building through skylights, punctuating classroom nodes in the corridor and reinforcing the paths of access. Within the classrooms, the children are encouraged to explore the outside world through windows whose placement specifically highlights the ground, horizon or sky.