The project goal was to create a contemporary facility that incorporates the “international style” of architecture with seven-foot modules—the predominant design style on the Air Force Academy campus. However, the facility also had to promote a child-friendly space within these rigid military guidelines, providing a softer, welcoming and intriguing environment in which CAPACITY275COST PER SQ FT$164.50FEATURED IN1999 Architectural PortfolioSUB CATEGORYSpecialized could feel nurtured, learn and develop.
Sculptural spheres identify the entrance to the facility and announce its unique function on the campus. The sculptural concrete “wiggle-wall” also creates a meandering path leading into the building, fostering a more playful atmosphere than in other buildings at USAFA.
The center houses classrooms, administrative areas, care and isolation rooms, nursery, laundry and kitchen.
Window blinds were sandwiched between exterior panes of glass to eliminate the possibility of accidental strangulation. Security cameras installed throughout the facility enable staff to monitor activity throughout the building and grounds. The orientation of the east entrance responds to the climate and provides ice melt and sunshine on walkways.
Tinted low-e glass allows ample outside view and minimal HVAC impact.
Photographer: Harry Weddington