How do you liven up a dull and cluttered daycare entry...?

...like this hopefully!



These are the concept renderings I did for a new project I'm working on for the Kirkwood School district. They're admittedly really basic renderings, but I didn't think spending hours and hours more on the details would help to sell the idea in this case. This was a cold presentation - they hadn't seen anything at all yet. And I was nervous...I felt like they would either love it or hate it. (Spoiler...they loved it!)

So here's the basic concept.

This is the entry/lobby area that you see when you enter the main door to the Kirkwood Early Childhood Center. I hate it when I see the same design language of primary colors and basic shapes used over and over in children's spaces. I also don't like things that are too literal, I prefer to use abstracted forms that let the kids imaginations determine what they are - kind of like finding shapes in the clouds.




So I presented the idea of using the image of a tree (which has been done to death in schools) but in a new way - by using negative space to form the "tree" between solid sheets of wood. These sheets would be set off from the wall by a few inches and the wall itself mirrored. So when the kids come in every day, they actually see themselves in the tree and they (and their parents) can watch as the way they're reflected changes as they grow. I also wanted to use the basic shapes that they learn in preschool, but combine them in a more complex, but still understandable, way. And I wanted to shove as much color in there as I possibly could. It needed it.

The space is also used by parents and kids that are waiting for appointments in the building, so it needed some seating and something to occupy the kids for a few minutes. I created a little seating "nook" that separated the waiting space from the hall space using unexpected materials such as artificial grass for the seating surface and turning the seat into a tunnel that the waiting kids can crawl through and explore (see the video below). If I just added climbing hand holds to the wall, I'd have my own little adventure playground! There are also books, and a spot tailor-made for littles to curl up in and read on the grass for a few minutes. And for the artists - a 3D, pyramid shaped chalk board.

I couldn't change the flooring or the drop ceiling, so I suggested they suspend triangles of colored plastic from the existing grid and possibly change the color of the tiles to blue (not in the rendering).

They asked me if the triangle clusters on the ceiling were supposed to be leaves or clouds. Both or neither, I told them. I think that's what sold the idea ;-)

So, very limited scope and limited budget, but I think it's going to look awesome!






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