Adding to an impressive portfolio of projects on Cincinnati Country Day School’s campus, Michael McInturf Architects (MMA) has completed designs for the private school’s latest addition: a 4-classroom house-like structure for 18-month to 3-year olds. The campus, 15 miles from downtown Cincinnati, includes a high school structure designed in collaboration with Greg Lynn circa 2001.
Since then, the firm has engaged in multiple rounds of masterplanning studies yielding a new elementary school, a sports pavilion, and a maintenance facility. MMA is also currently planning a major renovation to the campus athletic center and anticipates a completion date of late 2016 for this Early Childhood Center project.
The facility will include a sculptural playscape—an outdoor landscape that formally connects the school to its neighboring elementary school—and a nature trail for programmed outdoor activities.
The architects say this new “home” for Early Childhood education at Cincinnati Country Day will provide a “welcoming, fun and inspiring environment to house such a critical aspect of the campus experience.” While facilitating improved learning and safety for the newest members of the campus, the design seeks to reinforce a core value of the distinctive educational program: a connection to nature.
The design is informed by spatial equity, light, views, and play. A continuous “Ribbon Wall” weaves the spaces together to create a playful interaction between interior and exterior. The wall, formed from custom bent plywood, will be clad in a dark stained hardwood rainscreen. Roof monitors register four classroom spaces equally distributed radially around a central gathering space. The building is organized along a solar axis that maximizes natural daylight for each of the classroom spaces with respect to their most active use periods.
Construction is anticipated to be complete later this year.