This project searches to develop a special place for children – a place for discovery of
both themselves and their surroundings; a place to feel a level of comfort and security
that allows for inner peace, leading to thought, growth and development - both
physical and emotional. To do this, this project is generated not as much from a
formal architectonic viewpoint, but rather from shaping an environment based on
human behavior and needs.
Such an environment for children welcomes human contact and enables a sense of
community at many levels; within each home room, within the inner community of
the facility and within the greater community of the suburb. This facility situates
itself in the suburban context by connecting to other components of daily life such as
the recreation center, civic services, and commerce, aiding in “place making” for
people. The project looks at models from other countries to better understand how
the architecture and design of the facility can enhance the learning for the children. This project looks at the facility at many scales and creates an environment of
The following objectives and design opportunities were considered when designing
1. Connection between the facility and the surrounding community: nature, street
life, community activities
2. Experiential qualities as they enhance the learning experience for both
children and adults; light, space, time 3. Tectonics which enhance the experience of learning; construction detail, the
window, the door, gravity, material, surface, texture
4. Human behavior and child development as it shapes the plan, section and
This 12,000 sq. ft. Child Care Facility is located in the suburb of Lino Lakes,
Minnesota. The site is within the proposed town center currently under development
by the City. In a previous exercise a master plan and zoning diagram were
established. Locations for civic and community oriented uses were denoted. The site
for the facility is adjacent to the city park and a regional nature reserve and is adjacent
to community services and recreation.
University of Minnesota. M.Arch. thesis. March 2011. Major: M.Arch. Advisor: Mary Guzowski. 1 computer file (PDF); iv, 56 pages; appendix A.
Unick, Lori K..
Children: a place for their care in Suburbia…comfort, spirit, wonder and understanding..
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