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concord children's center

The Concord Children’s Center (CCC) is a model day care center serving approximately one hundred preschool children, ages two to five years. Built on a small site with a minimal budget, the 7500-sf structure echoes the traditional elements of its neighborhood, contextually integrates with the adjacent historic Harvey Wheeler Community Center, and serves the physical and emotional needs of its young users. The Center received a Design Share Award in 2004.

The CCC building was designed with the understanding that young children’s play is their work and that their physical environment helps to teach them about the community in which they are a part. The building is designed to mimic the outside world. It has private homey spaces (classrooms), private workspaces (administrative offices), community spaces (interior and exterior community facilities) and a street (central hallway). By teaching children about their community in a safe place designed around the tenets of clarity and user-orientation, the hope is that students will form a greater understanding, and sense of connection to the outside world.

The central design concept recalls the feel and identity of a cottage playhouse. On the exterior, each unit appears to be a freestanding structure. Internally, the sections are unified and tailored to meet the requirements of each particular age group. Two side classrooms for the older kids flank the central unit where the youngest children play and learn.

The building features offices, a conference room, storage spaces, and a large multipurpose room.

The gabled roof echoes the traditional style of the surrounding residential dwellings. OMR and affiliated construction company, Thoughtforms Corporation, worked together in order to provide the Concord Children’s Center with a simple solution to the school’s programmatic and budgetary needs.