Los Angeles-based studio Perkins&Will knows that even preschoolers can appreciate good design. They recently unveiled The Nest, an indoor/outdoor state-of-the-art early childhood education center designed pro bono in collaboration with Hope Street Margolis Family Center (a community health, education and recreation resource of Dignity Health – California Hospital Medical Center) and its partners. Created for low-income families with parents currently looking for job placement, returning to work or are experiencing homelessness, the center will provide invaluable early educational services in a fun, nurturing and design-centric environment that champions play-based learning.
The Nest features multiple play yards that surround the classrooms, an essential for students and teachers during the pandemic. Outdoor walls are painted with bright, vibrant colors and graphics for a fun, modern aesthetic.
Inside, child-scaled elements like shelving, tables, chairs, nooks and sinks provide the children with freedom and autonomy to move, learn and play. The vibrant colors from the outdoor murals continue inside while the high ceilings and glazed doors allow energy-saving natural light to flood through the classrooms. Teachers can utilize the flexible curtains to accommodate the natural circadian rhythm for down time; these curtains also modulate acoustics.
“The Nest joins an excellent preschool environment with practical innovations specific to its space,” shares Perkins&Will designer Aram Guzman. “Studies show the importance of environment in early health and development, and this design provides it for a community that needs it just as much as those that benefit from private or other privileged preschools.” Echoing the same, Perkins&Will designer Ashley Stoner says, “Play is built directly into the design. The sense of freedom and exploration in a secure environment is essential to quality preschool education. It will follow these toddlers throughout their lives. This is a small project with a large impact.”
Photos by Here And Now Agency.