Detroit Country Day School, Early Education Center

Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

Designed with the “littlest” student in mind, Detroit Country Day School’s new Early Education Center features an innovative architectural environment that supports the school’s creative and leading-edge philosophy in providing education. The concept for this new facility is a hamlet. Each early-childhood classroom, finished in a Victorian style, is a cottage within ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCAPACITY140CITATIONSpecial Citation, Specialized Facility CitationFEATURED IN2001 Educational Interiors2001 Architectural PortfolioINTERIOR CATEGORYChildcare Centers hamlet. Details, color, trim and finishes create a unique personality for each classroom.

Technology has been integrated into all areas of the center. Classrooms feature a front porch, back porch, separate toilet facilities, kitchen and sound system. Each has an exposed-wood cottage-like structure and abundant natural light flooding in from the attic windows and the storytelling bay window.

Upon entering the facility’s front door, designed specifically for parent dropoff of early learners, the entryway resembles a village street, lined with trees, lampposts, mailboxes and flowerboxes. The village ambience is enhanced by acoustic “clouds” floating overhead in a blue sky, shafts of sunlight peeking through skylights and green “grass” (carpet) trimming the cobblestone street. At the end of the street is a commons area, which serves as the gross motor-activity playroom.

Seven cottages, all with separate front entrances, serve children ages 3 to 5. The commons is designed to emulate a little red schoolhouse.

"Victorious design, vivid color. A virtual storyland--the only thing missing is the Pied Piper!"--2001 Educational Interiors Showcase jury

"Very nice concept and successful implementation. Excellent planning."--2001 Architectural Portfolio jury