Oregon childhood center designed at child-friendly scale

March 11, 2011 |

Design of the Early Childhood Center at Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham, Ore., focused on a achieving a child-friendly scale and providing outdoor learning environments. Mahlum Architects angled the facility’s ceilings downward from the clerestory windows to create spaces comfortable to three- to five-year-old children, specified windows with low sills so children can easily see outside, and included 30-inch-deep walls in classrooms for storage, seating, and plant nooks. The center, which will be operated by Head Start and incorporate the college’s Early Childhood Education program, will be divided into four communities, each with two classrooms. A main street will meander throughout the $5.4 million facility creating plazas, nooks, and corners that will be used for various activities.

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