The Early Education Center (EEC) at San Diego City College aspires to demonstrate that design of the built environment can provide rich learning opportunities for young children’s actively developing minds as they discover, explore and develop their level of understanding of their world. The entire facility is based on children learning through gardening, exercising, role-playing, honing motor skills, language, interacting with each other and creating.
The architecture focuses on exposing the structure, the use of various natural materials, textures and colors, the varying qualities of sound produced by changing ceiling heights within connected interior spaces and the visual contrasting qualities of sunlight versus shadow versus filtered light versus shade.
The EEC project achieved a LEED Silver rating with a focus on water use reduction.
ECC’s design elements were incorporated to offer opportunities for engagement and stimulation of the children’s curiosity and capacity for learning about nature. The design highlights the natural environment and creates spaces that respond to the energy of the sun and the rhythmic cycles of the earth.