A "child-like world": A child development center, The Woodlands, Houston, Texas
Buttarazzi, Dawn Marie
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Introduction: This is a place a place where children can come to interact with other children. A place where learning is just as much a part of the architecture that surrounds the child as the people who are there to do the teaching. The architecture is the teacher and in numerous ways influences the child in so many areas of his young life, which in return will reflect on the child's adult life. In this place the child will use his own creative ability to form his own space or spaces by the help of building units that allow the spaces to come apart an be constantly changing. This in return will create a dynamic atmosphere where 'the sky is the limit' to what the child's imagination can conjure up. The idea here is to have the child be the architect, to be in control of his own environment. The child is an agent in his own development- exploring, discovering, testing, initiatingand he uses the physical environment as an medium for his self-expression. From the day a child is born he or she is set out in a world that has been prearranged. This world is not for a child, but for an adult. Why not create a center in which the child has the ability to manipulate his environment with his creativity? Architecture can be the tool in which the child can express himself or herself through. A child is continually surrounded by an over scaled world that is intimidating and physically demanding. Children need a world that is willing to give them control over their own physical environment and creative ability. This proposed daycare center will provide this world for the child. It will allow him to explore his imagination without limitations in which he can not control physically or mentally . Thesis Statement: We can use architecture to explore a child's play environment physically, socially, and emotionally. Physically, architecture sets the stage in which a child can explore. Socially, psychologists have viewed the act of playas a way for a child to prepare for his role as an adult. And, emotionally architecture can be a tool to evoke psychological responses from a child. In exploring this intent I have chosen t.o develop a day care center to be the vehicle that will reveal my thesis. The setting is In the beautiful planned urban community in Montgomery County, The Woodlands, just outside of Houston, Texas. In it's success the project will allow the children to explore all the wonders that life has to offer within "A CHILD-LIKE WORLD" of their own imagination. If play is a way for children to understand a master their environment, therefore, architecture must facilitate and become a proper environment for children to play . Scope: This day care facility will accommodate 60 children ranging form the ages of newborn to 12 years old. There will be 8 infants, 20 toddlers, 20 3-6yr olds, and 12 6-12 yr olds. It will also accommodate for a one director, one assistant director, a secretary, a receptionist, 2 infant teachers, 3 toddler teachers, 3 3-6yr old teachers, 3 6-12 yr old teachers, and a nurse. It will be located in the planned community of The Woodlands, in Montgomery County, just north of Houston. This area is an upper class community, who's idea was developed in the sixties and has been uprising ever since it was first opened in 1974. The community has a numerous amount of amenities including schools, a mall, and a cOtl1tl1unity college .