Located in Far Rockaway near the ocean in a residential district of single-family bungalows and multi-family apartment buildings, this new construction two-story daycare center accommodates 165 children. An architectural challenge was to design the first floor above grade as the site sits on a high water table. ESKW/A chose strong colors – sunny yellow, bold blue, and warm red brick – appropriate for the function of the Center and to complement the site’s proximity to the ocean. The first floor features playrooms for the youngest children, staff offices, and a large kitchen. Rooms dedicated to preschool and after-school programs occupy the two corridors on the second floor. The roof hosts a large outdoor play area and it sub-divided into areas for active and quiet play. Additional outdoor play and discovery areas are located at grade, including a ‘wild garden’ of indigenous plants.
The ocean life motifs on the perimeter fence and corridor floors are designed by artist Julie Dermansky under the New York Department of Cultural Affairs “Percent for Arts” Program and are entitled “Ocean Fence and Ocean Floor”.