Brokaw Early Learning Center1000 Fifth Street
Oswego, IL 60543
Design Achievement - Brokaw Early Learning Center serves a unique group of pre-school students, many with learning or physical disabilities. Every design element incorporated by DLR Group responds to the learning scale of these three-to-five-year-old users. The facility features four small houses that pinwheel around a central core of shared spaces. Each house consists of five classrooms surrounding an open, naturally lit living room, now dubbed villages. From a student's perspective, the design reduces the scale of a large school into just five classrooms and a village. Each village is designated with a specific color so students can easily identify their assigned village. The many attributes of the school give each student a place where he, during the most critical development period of his life, can learn how to learn - a trait necessary for life.
Scope Summary - The 37,900 SF school sits on 10 acres and houses 600 students total, 300 in the morning and 300 in the afternoon. A child-friendly scale is influenced through the use of color, materials and texture. The design creates a horizontal line at 9'4" above the floor through a change of material. Layered into the elevations is a vertical pattern of color, textures and glass, which create a checkerboard effect that is ordered, yet playful. Focusing on children and their daily activities, each classroom has in-floor and ceiling radiant heating for improved comfort of the student. This feature also creates a warm, cozy environment. DLR Group provided architecture and interiors services.