Early Childhood Center (ECC)
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The new “home” for the Early Childhood program at Cincinnati Country Day provides a welcoming, fun and inspiring environment to house learning and exploration for children between 18 months to 3 years. The design seeks to reinforce a core value of the distinctive educational program: a connection to nature. The architecture is therefore nestled within the landscape and adjacent to the newly emerging “Nature Playscape”, with views from the classrooms to the woods beyond. These classrooms are equally distributed radially around the central gathering space, and the “Ribbon Wall” weaves the spaces together to create a playful interaction between interior and exterior. This connection is further informed by spatial equity, light, views and play. The classroom ceilings lift up to reveal clerestory monitors that rigidly retain southern orientation for day lighting, filtering light through colored glass. The expression of the architecture and the accessibility of natural daylight and views promotes an ethic of learning through play, and becomes an extension of the educational program.