This building serves two primary roles: academic space for students enrolled at the College of DuPage’s Early Childhood Education program and a care center for 116 children. The co-location of these two programs provides a unique opportunity to pro-type/refine teaching methodologies and design for childhood education under one roof.
With a tight budget and schedule, the building’s bones are pre-fabricated. Colored panels and an enhanced building enclosure animate the façade against the Illinois prairie. Distinct yet contextual, the building feels familiar to the agrarian architectural language of Glen Ellyn.
Essentially a large open space, interior classrooms are organized around a central interior place space dotted with skylights overhead. Each learning space is afforded views and daylighting, including from little windows only toddlers can see out of or nestle into. Observation rooms are scattered throughout the building to allow college students opportunities to observe and learn through the Co-Op program without distracting the care center’s curious minds.
An extensive geothermal system is just one of numerous design strategies that enhance operations/maintenance while also exploring low-tech sustainable solutions.