The United States Department of Agriculture Child Development Center

Washington, District of Columbia

  • FIRM

    MTFA Architecture


    General Services Administration

  • AREA

    10,932 sq.ft.





The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Child Development Center is in the historic Sidney R. Yates Building just southwest of The National Mall. The purpose of this project was to relocate the Child Development Center from the basement to the first floor. The design creates a beautiful learning space, rich with natural light that enhances a child’s appreciation of ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$466.52CITATIONPre-K/Early-Childhood Education CitationFEATURED IN2015 Architectural Portfolio and materials.
The Center provides child care services for 76 infant to pre-school-age children. Simple geometric and flowing shapes dominate the design of the center. The new glazed entrance facade features an etched graphic that resembles the flow of a field of sunflowers.
Once inside, a large, round acoustic panel with radiating lights over the curved reception desk recalls the geometry of the sun. All details throughout the center are curved for safety and beauty. Materials were carefully selected to be eco-friendly and draw a connection to the USDA and the U.S. Forest Service.
The Center is expected to receive LEED Silver certification in 2015. Once a dark and dingy center in the basement, the new facility now serves children of federal government employees within a formative and sustainably designed environment.