stanford university child care center
Located on the northwest corner of the Stanford campus near the Arboretum, this day care facility provides services 18 hours a day for infants, toddlers, pre-schoolers, and mildly ill/recuperating children.
The design emphasizes the need for a home-like environment where children are guaranteed to feel comfortable. Every effort was made to give the building a residential character. Broken down into small modules, each playroom resembles an individual 'house' with a pitched roof.
Shared facilities such as a food preparation area, utility rooms, and nap areas have flat roofs which link these individual 'houses.' An experimental get-well area was created as a child care facility prototype. Separated from the rest of the center due to health safety concerns, this area is equipped with its own entrance and laundry facility.
The general layout of the Center follows the spiral shape of a nautilus shell, emulating the growth of the child. Infant rooms are located near the entry and lobby. As children grow older, they move away through the spiral and into larger rooms, in a symbolic motion of increasing independence and growth. The spiral shape follows the path of the sun, allowing all rooms sunlight exposure during the course of the day. The facility's layout has the inherent capability of potential future enlargement by extending the spiral, as well as the option of enlarging the individual play rooms by extending them perpendicularly to the spiral.