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  7. Mt. Hood Community College Early Childhood Center / Mahlum

Mt. Hood Community College Early Childhood Center / Mahlum

  • 01:00 - 17 September, 2014
Mt. Hood Community College Early Childhood Center / Mahlum
Mt. Hood Community College Early Childhood Center / Mahlum, © Lincoln Barbour
© Lincoln Barbour

© Lincoln Barbour © Lincoln Barbour © Lincoln Barbour © Lincoln Barbour + 11

  • Architects

  • Location

    26000 Southeast Stark Street, Gresham, OR 97030, USA
  • Category

  • Architect in Charge

    Diane Shiner AIA LEED AP
  • Area

    22751.0 ft2
  • Project Year

  • Photographs

© Lincoln Barbour
© Lincoln Barbour

Text description provided by the architects. The Early Childhood Center replaces an existing facility at Mount Hood Community College. The college lacked funding for the project, but leveraged an existing relationship with Headstart and several private donors to finance the new childhood education center.

© Lincoln Barbour
© Lincoln Barbour

During vision sessions, the College was drawn to creating an environment that allows seamless transitions between indoor and outdoor learning and play. Concepts identified by Richard Louv in his book Last Child in the Woods, helped drive the design, which promotes strong connections to nature.

Floor Plan
Floor Plan

Set on a former parking lot but surrounded by mature fir trees, natural and man-made environments form an engaging network of playgrounds, eco systems, gardens, and interior play areas. Children enjoy ample opportunities for exploration, creativity, free-thinking and interaction; they can “get dirty” by playing in the sandbox with a water hand-pump or with floating ducks in the wet-play area.

© Lincoln Barbour
© Lincoln Barbour

Conceived as a village of small play-learn communities, the center resembles a cluster of houses. Lower ceilings respond to the scale of the children. Clerestory windows suffuse play-learn spaces with daylight while maintaining a low volume. Internal and external transparency ensures supervision while connecting the children to their surroundings and each classroom to the greater community.

© Lincoln Barbour
© Lincoln Barbour

Drawing inspiration from patterns of daylight, weather and the seasons, play-learn spaces have varying degrees invite poetic reflection, joyful play, and relaxation. In the play spaces, deep walls offer window niches and benches that children can claim for themselves, and provide abundant, accessible storage in each room. Operable windows, daylighting, solar panels, a high efficiency envelope, and open storm water treatment reinforce connections to nature with a healthy, resource efficient facility.

© Lincoln Barbour
© Lincoln Barbour

With a tight budget, the College drew on local connections to achieve its goals for the center. Large amounts of unused lumber in the College’s basement was refinished by the College and installed as acoustic wood ceilings in the hallways. Wood built-in benches and cubbies were fabricated by local high school students and donated at material cost only. The wood textures and furnishings contribute to the warm, homey atmosphere of the center.

© Lincoln Barbour
© Lincoln Barbour

Operated by HeadStart, the project provides play-learn spaces for 24 toddlers and up to 140 three four and five year old kids. The center also includes childhood education classrooms for MHCC students and a production kitchen, which prepares and delivers meals to 8 local childcare facilities.

© Lincoln Barbour
© Lincoln Barbour
  • Project Manager

    Kurt Haapala AIA LEED AP
  • Project Designer

    Rene Berndt AIA LEED AP
  • Project Architect

    Beth Brett AIA LEED AP
  • Interior Designer

    Amy Noe
  • Project Team Member

    Jason Manson AIA LEED AP
  • General Contractor

    Walsh Construction
  • Landscape Architect

    Greenworks PC
  • Civil/Structural Engineer

    Harper Houf Peterson Righellis
  • Mechanical/Electrical Engineer

    Interface Engineering
  • Acoustics

    Altermatt Associates
  • Food Service

    Halliday Associates

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Project location

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Cite: "Mt. Hood Community College Early Childhood Center / Mahlum" 17 Sep 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884
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