Oakland Unified School District: Arroyo Viejo Child Development Center / Perkins Eastman

Oakland Unified School District: Arroyo Viejo Child Development Center

Oakland, California
Located in East Oakland, the Child Development Center was in need of significant upgrading. What had once been a focus of pride for the neighborhood had suffered a long physical decline, no longer meeting Child Care licensing requirements.

The primary success of the project comes from transforming the existing dark and aged facility into a light filled and energetic space for learning and exploration; a dramatic renovation within a tight budget of approximately $356 per square foot. Each child space opens to the adjacent outdoor environment creating an ongoing connection between the child and nature. The new floor plan expands staff space and improves the classroom organization and entry experience. The design strategy incorporates playful primary shapes, as expressed in the building elevation. Each shape improves building function through a visual connection to the outdoors and the play area, creates clerestory windows to let in balanced light and natural ventilation, and turns the new entrance into a focal point. The dynamic language of skewed and intersecting forms is carried throughout the building, from the suspended acoustical clouds to the landscape concentric plan and butterfly garden, which connects with an underground creek. An indoor / outdoor learning experience includes a learning garden, and provides a variety of opportunities for children to explore and engage in nature.

Within an efficient budget, this modernization and expansion turns an aging facility into a community asset. As completed, the project brings a sustainable, educational, and inviting building to a severely under-served community. CHPS certified.