All
Projects
Products
Events
Competitions

Brokaw Early Learning Center / DLR Group

Brokaw Early Learning Center / DLR Group

© James Steinkamp © James Steinkamp © James Steinkamp © James Steinkamp + 10

Oswego, United States
  • Architects: DLR Group
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  39800.0 ft²
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2007
  • Photographs Photographs:  James Steinkamp
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: Kalwall®

Text description provided by the architects. Oswego Community Unit School District 308 challenged DLR Group to design a new early learning center to meet the unique needs of children age three to five. The center is home to three programs: Tuition Pre-School, Preschool for All, and Special Education.  DLR Group’s design solution resulted in a pinwheel layout, having four small houses around a central core of shared facilities, including administration, a multi-purpose gymnasium and a community/parent room.

© James Steinkamp
© James Steinkamp

Design Solution: Each house consists of five classrooms, surrounding an open area called a “living room.” In the student’s perspective, this reduces the scale of their school to just five classrooms and a living room. These intimate, home-like, multi-functional spaces are flexible areas used for group learning and activities, and take the place of traditional hallways for maximum usable educational space which totals more than 80% of the entire building. The living room is the programmatic heart and social nerve center with visual connection to the environment. High ceilings and gable roofs provide a bright, cheery atmosphere for the children.

© James Steinkamp
© James Steinkamp

Design Goals: 1)Create a comfortable learning environment for young students. Focusing on children and their daily activities, each classroom has in-floor and ceiling radiant heating for improved comfort of the student. This feature also creates a warm, cozy environment. There are both adult and child scale windows throughout the room: glass only windows for adults, and portal windows raised just off the floor for children. Both sets of windows begin only 16” off the ground so students of all abilities can connect with the outdoors. There are also observation windows between the living room and the classrooms, allowing the light from the gable roofs to protrude into the room. The gable roofs, high ceilings, and tall windows collectively draw light into 100% of all classrooms and 85% of the building.

© James Steinkamp
© James Steinkamp

2)Incorporate design elements to reduce the scale of the building for young learners. Horizontal lines create a child-friendly scale throughout the facility through color, materials and texture. Interior and exterior design elements taper off at a 9’ elevation, making the large scale building appear small to children. Examples of these elements are drywall reglets traveling around inside spaces at 9’, entry canopies at 9’, and brick on the exterior of the building up to 9’ with a different material above. This helps reduce the feeling of high volume spaces.

© James Steinkamp
© James Steinkamp

3)Address acoustics and provide sound control. Sound control is another important factor impacting teaching and learning. The District and designers met the ANSI Standard S12.60 as a response to the unique needs of the Oswego ECC children and their sensitivity to sound. Electrical boxes are staggered and partition walls made of metal studs, acoustical insulation and three layers of gypsum board are full height to keep sound from bleeding over the top of the ceiling.

© James Steinkamp
© James Steinkamp

Project gallery

See all Show less

Project location

Address: Oswego, Illinois, USA

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Cite: "Brokaw Early Learning Center / DLR Group" 14 Feb 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/111924/brokaw-early-learning-center-dlr-group/> ISSN 0719-8884
Read comments
Read comments

You've started following your first account!

Did you know?

You'll now receive updates based on what you follow! Personalize your stream and start following your favorite authors, offices and users.