Students and faculty at Lehman College can now bring their children to the Bronx campus' bright and beautiful new day care center. Designed by Garrison Architects, the modular facility was fabricated and completed in just half a year. The building has a small footprint to maximize surrounding green space, and even features an integrated vertical garden on the facade where children can learn how to grow their own veggies.
To minimize disruptions on campus to build the day care center, Garrison Architects provided a prefabricated system of modules that could be assembled on site. After fabrication, it took just one week to set up the modules. A smart layout around a centralized lobby reduced circulation spaces and thus made the building’s footprint smaller, allowing more room for a green yard around the building. The day care center is positioned to connect to the street and to the campus while providing accessible routes to surrounding buildings.
East and west facing facades feature a series of polycarbonate tubes that are designed to harvest light as the sun strikes the building from oblique angles. These tubes are separated from the windows by a walkway, which is accessed from each classroom via sliding glass doors. The louvered system also works to provide security for the children and will be used as the skeleton for a vertical garden, where classes can grow their veggies.
Shading on the windows reduces glare and overheating while still maximizing natural light into the classrooms. The south and north facades are clad in high-density fiberboard, which is both low maintenance and works as a rainscreen. The central lobby features a grand skylight that pulls sunlight into the center of the building. The skylight also doubles as a vent to rid the building of excess heat and exhaust air using passive buoyant air ventilation.
Images ©Garrison Architects