Annette B. Weyerhauser Early Learning Center
Client: Tacoma Community College
Size: 12,700 sf
Location: Tacoma, WA
The new facility serves a dual mission by providing adult students greater access to education through on-site childcare and allowing children of students an important early start to their own education. In addition to Early Learning programs for children, the new Center provides educational space for students in the Early Childhood Education/Para-educator programs. The LEED Gold certified Center utilizes natural ventilation and radiant floor heating; maximizing sustainable principles that meet the needs of young children. Heating is located in the floor slab to provide comfort where small children spend most of their time. Abundant daylight at the perimeter and deep within interior spaces brings a greater sense of the elements of nature indoors. The project resolves dual challenges of scale and identity by creating a safe and nurturing indoor/outdoor learning environment for children while establishing a welcoming presence to adult students arriving at the north end of campus. The building creates a sheltered place where children pass freely between interior and exterior learning environments that are both insular and integrated into the college surroundings.