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A Terminal Master’s Project Submitted in partial ful illment of the requirements for the Degree of Master of Architecture School of Architecture and Community Design College of the Arts University of South Florida

elaine cummings

design on asmallerscale

prioritizing a child’s archtectural experience chair

Michael Halflants


Giancarlo Giusti Krystyna Sznurkowski

Guest Jurors

john curran nina hofer paul lukez Stephen Szutenbach Jan wampler jason welty


to olivia, lilly, and baby v

Well, Ive got a hammer and Ive got a bell and Ive got a song to sing all over this land. Its the hammer of justice. Its the bell of freedom. Its a song about love between my brothers and my sisters all over this land. If I had a Hammer- Peter, Paul, and Mary



acknowledgments I owe my Dad, Mark Cummings, a great deal. Dad, you instilled in me a thick skin, a thicker head, a knack for sarcasm, a love for football, and most importantly a drive to ind happiness in everything I am doing. You have pushed me in all aspects of my life. I ind strength knowing that your presence surrounds me. And, I am thankful for the constant push your presence gives me. I miss you every day. This is for you, because you were always a child at heart. My mother, Diane, puts myself and my family in front of everything else. Mom, your strength and faith are truly admirable. Mom, I know you are spell checking this right now. So, I hope at least this paragraph is up to snuff. Thank you for babying me, even at twenty-four years old. Erik- you have been through everything with me, by my side or on the other end of the phone. Thank you for being the realistic engineer to being me back to earth, understanding when I fall asleep in movies, and being my out-of-state alarm clock. I sincerely look forward to a life spent with you. Brianna, Hanna, Hannah, and Nina- Any drop of sanity I have left is because of you all (or y’all or yous guys). You are my comic relief, my sounding board, my source of caffeine, and my inspiration. Thank you for making the hardest years of school, much more pleasant and enjoyable. As we leave school, I hope you know the impression you have made on me. I look forward to the day when I can tell people, “I sat next to the girl that designed that”. You will all go on to do great things. Josh and David- You are troopers, that’s for sure. Thank you for putting up with us. To the faculty and staff of sacd- Thank you for providing a wonderful environment to foster such a great year of students. Michael- Thank you for being a mentor to me, someone I can look up to and learn from. Your critiques are motivational, through your pride or your disappointment. Thank you for believing me and seeing the best in my designs. And, to all my family and friends- Thank you for helping me to get this point in my life.


All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages. At first the infant, Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms; And then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel And shining morning face, creeping like snail Unwillingly to school. And then the lover, Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier, Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard, Jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel, Seeking the bubble reputation Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice, In fair round belly with good capon lined, With eyes severe and beard of formal cut, Full of wise saws and modern instances; And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts Into the lean and slippered pantaloon, With spectacles on nose and pouch on side; His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice, Turning again toward childish treble, pipes And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all, That ends this strange eventful history, Is second childishness and mere oblivion, Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

the seven stages of man william shakespeare 6

table of contents abstract inspiration A Child’s development A Child’s experience programmatic terms Educational research site documentation Design intentions Programmatic terms applied Reggio Emilia incorporated Detail designs Exterior landscape Exterior details reflections List of Figures works cited

9 11 13 15 22 26 34 43 63 66 68 78 87 94 96 99



abstract Architecture seems to be designed for the generic, average adults. Why aren't children typically considered in major design decisions? Children experience space differently: differently from adults, and differently from other children. The age of the child and that child's method of moving through a space (crawling, walking, being held, pushed in a stroller, and running) alters their experience based on their speed and the view from their own height. The path, intention, direction, and means of moving through and viewing architecture alter the spatial experience. The initial intentions of this project are to research, replicate, and modify spatial and environmental conditions that positively aid in the development of children. This will help to clarify the positive speci ic spatial characteristics that can transcend scales and typologies. Combining and integrating these social environments together will create an adaptive space that developing children of all ages can activate relative to their particular interests, ambitions, goals, and limitations. Architecture and design can facilitate learning and development while adapting to each age group. Developmental psychology, anthropology, and educational strategies are all ields of research that will advance the project. Studying the different age groups through multiple factors like social skills, cognitive development, physical development, and motor skills will help to determine architectural charisctaristics of space that will foster development. Broad research has led me down the path of early childhood education, and architecture's role in the development of a child. Spaces that aren't understandable to children can lead to self consciousness and lack of con idence. Architecture, down to the details, should have the opposite effect, to help to build and nurture.

Fig. 1: Infant study model


Fig. 2: Olivia and Lilly


inspiration I have two young nieces, Olivia and Lilly, (with a third on the way) whom I love very much. As ive and two year olds they ind inspiration, fun, and invention in every activity. Every act is seemingly unprecedented with an avant-garde method of completion. They seek fun. They seek happiness. They seek knowledge and inspiration in everything. These essentials of life, seen by toddlers, should be brought to the attention of adults for re-inspiration. Their profound creativity is boundless and is a joy to watch and participate with . They are receptive and astute to environments, yet pleasantly naive to many ways of the world. As they grow, I seek their innocent and benevolent joy. Olivia, Lilly, my soon to be born niece, and all children have inspired this thesis. I hope to bring everything I love and appreciate about the ield of architecture and design down to their level. Architecture is an elitist profession with a vast lexicon. We should aim to make relatable projects that are clear and driven by the users. Aim to make an architecture that even children understand and appreciate.

Weve been through some things together.With trunks of memories still to come.We found things to do in stormy weather.Long may you run.Long may you run. Long May You Run- Neil Young



Fig 3: Child Development Diagram

a child’s development While growing is a gradual, seldomly noticed change; it is comprised of many developmental complex components. Growth can be broken down into very general stages and classi ications. For simplicity, I have used age as the determining factor of a stage: infant (0-12 months), toddler (12-36 months), and child (3 years and up). To demonstrate the dynamic differences in developmental rate change amongst different factors, I have contrasted four developmental components: physical, cognitive, motor skills, and social skills. Physical development includes characteristics such as weight, height, teeth and head size. The advancement and understanding of concepts and the recognition of both objects and people de ine cognitive development. Motor skills initially begin as innate re lexes and gradually increase to physical movement and technical dexterity. Social skills are manifested in group interaction and communication skills (both verbal and non verbal). Each quadrant of the graphic represents one of these developmental components. The step increments suggest the rate at which each developmental component increases during a sub stage. The comprehensive developmental components are partially related, but develop at different rates during each stage.

A child’s development



A child’s spatial experience can be broken down into: means of traveling, vantage point, speed, and intention. A child can run. A toddler can walk. A baby can crawl. An infant can be carried by their mother. These diverse means and modes of traveling through a space begin to break down the interaction with a space and the surfaces. These travel differences change the height at which a child is viewing a space. If a crawling infant may only be looking at the loor, it better be an engaging loor. This perspective change is vital to understand. Speed and intention are determined by the other factors as well as age. A baby learning to walk would take up a large amount of space by walking in a slightly undetermined path. Compare this to a mischievous toddler may skirt the edge of the room to loat under the radar. Age is a great determining factor that differentiates spatial experience of a child, because age causes the developmental changes. Each kid has a different experience, just as every adult has a different experience. Environmental cues in a space can relate to all ages. Environment and Children references experimentation that proves children’s awareness of surroundings architectural cues. The test was of an infant passing through a space with a window on their left. After turning around, the infant will look for the same window on the right.

a child’s experience

Fig 4: Varied Experience Diagram

A Child’s Experience


low energy-small scale

low energy-large scale

Sleep is de initely a pivotal aspect included in a child’s day because it aids daily demeanor and overall development. The amount of daily sleep required decreases as age increases. For instance, newborns need almost half a day of sleep, broken into small naps. But, a toddler may only need a few hours of nap time midday in addition to sleeping throughout the night. A dark, comforting, and quiet environment facilitates the excessive amount of sleep that the small children and babies need. Due to the drastic differences in length and frequency of sleep, the sleeping area would need to be subdivided into smaller areas re lecting the age of the inhabitants. They could easily be connected to maintain a dedicated sleeping zone and quiet area.

Learning spaces are lower energy to allow for concentration and longer attention. These types of spaces would house more traditional learning techniques including teachers and a structured lesson plan. The traditional group learning set up requires tables and chairs. These spaces would also bene it from multi-functioning furniture that is able to be moved or accommodate other activities. These functional indoor spaces would need to be a back up on days with poor weather. Outdoor spaces can function as learning spaces. In most age groups children learn through hands-on experiences, play, and adventure, so the act of learning is integrated within the other variety of spaces and group or individual activities.




high energy-small scale

high energy-large scale

Imagination and the creative process are fundamental differences between small children and aging adults. That is why there is such an emphasis on facilitating, prioritizing, and including these types of spaces for small groups or an individual. High energy spaces would typically imply needing excess room for the high energy activities, but the small scale of these spaces allow for small groups to perform unlimited imaginative activities. The multiple scales of the play spaces create a sub- atmosphere for the imagination space. Imagination overlaps greatly with all other characteristics of the children’s space requirements, because it aids in individual and group learning as well as playfulness.

Play spaces are quite open ended by nature. These spaces facilitate and encourage a multitude of activities amongst multiple ages of children simultaneously. Separation, designation and privacy between the spaces are fundamental. Developing a complex ground plane can be a great start to naturally creating a diverse spectrum of play spaces. The differing ages of children may inhabit theses spaces with differing activities based on both age and gender. The central, open spaces are typically home to the higher energy activities, like groups running and shoving. The peripheral edges house the lower energy activities of play. As previously mentioned, the play activities double as basic lessons for development and learning, and self con idence boosters. Taking controlled risks are crucial to children becoming secure individuals.





Fig. 5: Infant’s Day Diagram

Fig. 6: Toddler’s Day Diagram

i nfant


The majority of an infant’s day will be spent asleep, taking multiple short naps. Therefore, they are indoors quite often. These frequent, short naps are very de ining, and restrictive activities. While an infant has very little verbal communication skills, they make their needs and desires very apparent. While infants have very active imaginations, it is very limited to their scope of knowledge and possibility. The solid blue circle outline represents this imagination limit, while the lighter blue arc extends around the majority of the awake hours of the day to demonstrate the vast amount of time spent in this imaginative state. The wide green arc shows the large time dedicated to learning. And, the red pie chunk shows the play overlapping with imaginative spaces.


A toddler’s day becomes a bit more complex, with less nap time and more entertainment and activity required, as their mental capability becomes a bit more complex. The overlap of each of the activities and spaces become multifaceted. Play, learning, and imagination activities have similar threads of commonality. All three activities can be interior or exterior. Learning becomes the most common activity for a toddler, shown by the central green arc, because it becomes the consequence of all activities. The dedicated learning/class time, in a larger group setting, is shown as the thick, short, green band. Toddler’s imaginations are in full force with basically no limit. Play becomes more experiential, through building and constructive activities.

child Fig. 7: Child’s Day Diagram

A child’s day can be the most complex. They require even more entertainment, more complexity, and more activity. There is less nap time that gradually decreases in necessity and frequency. The nap time at this point can also become optional allowing for quiet time play. Learning is even more prevalent throughout the day; more advanced concepts are beginning to be understood from surroundings (like physics, geometry, and other mathematics). Play and experimentation, both in groups and individually, double as learning opportunities. The imaginative abilities of a child are quite bold. They can spend extensive times in this creative type play. The graphic has become even more complex and broken apart. Children can be more sporadic. While their attention spans are increasing gradually, there are also more activities to participate within, both inside and outside.




This hypothetical ground plane study was a method of showcasing the unlimited spatial possibilities of a simple ground plane. Barriers, undulations, steps, and carvings create multiple spatial condition types. They can break up scale of larger spaces for the understanding of children. Functionality, shade, seating, and privacy, the major perks of smaller scaled spaces, create a variety of distinct sensory landscape qualities.

ground section study

Fig. 8: Segmented Ground Section

A Child’s Experience

“Children play with things, not with buildings; does it matter if rooms are dull? But, rooms are where things happen, where imagination scenarios are played out. Dull rooms, therefore, increase dependence on things. As thing dependence is hardly sustainable, is it better if rooms themselves stimulate imagination?� -Christopher Day

Environment and Children


programmatic terms

Children value space differently. They do not appreciate or understand aesthetic, as adults might. I’ve derived these six terms to create an architectural language and program for children’s spaces. The terms encompass both spatial and programmatic needs. This language can/should be used and applied in many building typologies to become relatable spaces for children. These concepts are manipulative to allow for thought about multiple ages of users, and their needs for a space. While the terms are de ined to speci ically be relative to children, they are just as easily applied to an adult’s experience.

key terms


Light, and light control, are very important features in any space. Natural light is known to aid in concentration. Natural light, whether or not there is a direct view out of the source opening, creates a connection to the exterior. There are often casted shadows (from outside activities, trees, or clouds) through skylights or clerestory windows to maintain a connection. But a window at eye level allows a line of sight into the exterior. Arti icial light can be very useful and much more easily controlled. Fig. 9: Natural Light Study Model

The major factor that a child values of space is the visible functionality. The use, setting, direction, and intention of a space are visible and interpreted. Multipurpose spaces can still be decipherable based on their lexibility and current use. Visual cues from environment and surroundings allow for extra hints to understand and value spaces.

Fig.10: Functionality Study Model

The security of a space can be decided in many ways; both in the literal physical shelter and the trustworthiness of materials. The sense and impression of protection allow children to feel safe and secure. But, the materiality and structural substance allow children to feel equally safe and secure. Overhangs and structural materials should look as if they are suitable to be structure. Materials should be reliable and relatable; heavy materials should act and appear as such, not be suspended or supported by lighter materials. Fig.11: Security Study Model


The view from a child’s height, not an adult, is quite different. They perceive the scale of spaces differently; being lower to the ground can make a space seem even larger or taller. Movement and perspective are major components of how a child experiences a space. View and vantage points can determine what is visible to the users. Smaller spaces, or smaller scales within a space can make a space more relatable to a similarly small child. Fig. 12: Perspective Study Model

The ability to manipulate a space allows a child to have a sense of control over the environment and create a meaningful place. Manipulation of the space also allows for stimulation through the interaction. These actions also leave a personal attachment and distinct memory to a place, by creating importance within the context. Fig.13: Manipulation Study Model

Spatial clarity is achieved when a space, from the interior or exterior, is easily understood, through visual cues and way inding techniques. A simple, clear understanding without the necessity of maps helps children to be reassured, and builds con idence through the design. On the other hand, the feeling of being lost within a space, for a child, is very confusing and can create self-consciousness.

Fig.14: Spatial Clarity Study Model

key terms


“The play of children is not recreation; it means earnest work. Play is the purest intellectual production of the human being, in this stage for the whole man is visible in them, in his finest capacities, in his innermost being.� -Fredrick Froebel


educational theories

Schools and preschools seem to be the perfect programmatic places to apply the concepts de ined previously. The school is a place intended to foster and develop a child. It is a place designed for children to grow within. But, in contemporary America, there is a lack of place within classrooms and schools; they are homogeneous. The architecture of a classroom or school should play a role within the education of a child, rather than acting as a backdrop for inspirational posters. The majority of my research into successful pedagogies of early education was devoted to: Froebel’s kindergarten, the Montessori Method, and Reggio Emilia schools. Each of these methods and applications built on one another throughout history, showing the progression of both the culture and the developmental knowledge of children that was understood during each time period. The works of Fredrick Froebel, Maria Montessori, and Loris Malaguzzi are all signi icant and easily made relevant in contemporary American preschools and elementary schools. From this research, I intend to decipher the architectural implications of these successful educational theories.

Educational research


Fig. 15: Gift One

Fig. 16: Gift Two

Fig. 17: Gifts Three - Six

The Founder:

Friedrich Froebel is a German educationalist that is accredited with creating the original kindergarten system that the modern system is based on. In his own literary work, The Education of Man, Fredrick Froebel says, “The purpose of education is to encourage and guide man as a conscious, thinking and perceiving being in such a way that he becomes a pure and perfect representation of that divine inner law through his own personal choice; education must show him the ways and meanings of attaining that goal.” He began applying his educational institutional ideas in 1817, but became much more organized, similar to the contemporary system in 1837. He was one of the irst to recognize that children’s brains develop signi icantly within the irst few years of life, and he, against the belief of the church, pushed for early childhood education.

The Influence:

Early in his teaching career, Froebel worked in a Swiss school headed by Johann Hendrich Pestalozzi that prioratized children as “active learners”. Froebel was inspired by Rousseau and Ficte, German philosophers, as well as Taoist and Buddhist teaching. Being raised by a Lutheran minister had many in luences on his educational theories. However, he kept scripture and many religious cues out of his schooling. The website, Froebel Gifts, explains Froebel as “a naturalist, philosopher, and a researcher”. Rather placing emphasis on church, he “encouraged children to observe their world; to recognize and respect the orderly and endless creation we all live within.”

the principles:

Froebel’s research is dedicated with the foundation of “multiple intelligences (different learning styles), play-based, child-centered, holistic education, parent involvement/training, educational paperfolding, use of music, games, and movement activities


Fig. 18: Gift Seven

Fig. 19: Gift Eight

Fig. 20: Gift Nine

Fig. 21: Gift Ten


for education.” But, Froebel’s education style was focused around two primary principles: -Humans (speci ically children) are creative beings: We, as humans, alter the environment. This is what sets us apart from animals and other living things. Froebel understood that education needs to foster this visualization to build and dictate us to create. -Play is the engine of real learning: Not only is play a manifestation of fun, but it is a very useful and productive activity. Education should include activities “to lead them to create meaning from their experiences.”

The application:

Froebel developed a series of gifts, spielgaben, for the use of the students of his schools. Fittingly, they were educational tools to be played with. The toys were considered to be gifts, to build pride, sensitivity, and respect for objects. As a series of ten gifts, each has a main concept that can be applied in many uses. Each is encased within a speci ic box as deceptively simple toys that represent an intelligent approach to child development. Froebel divided Gift play into three categories: forms of knowledge (math/science), forms of life (relating to objects found in a child’s life/world), and forms of beauty (abstract patterns and designs). Gift One: Yarn Balls Gift Two: Sphere, Cylinder, and Cube Gift Three: The Divided Cube Gift Four: The Divided Prisms Gift Five: Cubes and Triangular Prisms Gift Six: Classic Building Blocks Gift Seven: Parquetry Tablets Gift Eight: Sticks and Rings Gift Nine: The Point Gift Ten: Framework



Fig. 22: Montessori Classroom

The founder:

Maria Montessori, the creator of the “Montessori Method”, was born in 1870 Chiaravalle, Italy. As an adult, she studied at University of Rome and became the irst woman doctor of medicine in Italy. During her work at a psychiatric clinic, she encountered the “idiot children” who were deemed unteachable and were sentenced to living in an asylum with the insane. In Montessori Play and Learn, Lesley Britton inds Montessori’s focus on pediatrics increased her interested in these children, and how their sensory deprivation led to them learning with their hands. She decided the children were in fact not idiots, but had not been taught in a way that stimulated their mind. In Montessori Manual, it recounts her decision to have the handicapped children take the same standardized testing as “normal children”. She decided that these “normal” children, who were surpassed by challenged children in tests, must not be taught properly either. This was the beginning of the application of her Montessori Method.

The influence:

Maria Montessori was inspired by the mentally de icient children she was working with. In order to further study the education of children, she turned to the work of Edward Seguin and Jean Itrard. Jean Itard studied deaf and mute children, and became particularly known for his book, The Wild Boy of Aveyron, where he attempted to educate and socialize an abandoned boy, by systematically stimulating his mind through his senses. Edward Seguin devised a physiological method of a sequence of muscular exercises to bring a change in behavior. Montessori’s two founding principles for teaching became: “education of the senses” and “education of movement”. She also studied early educational pedagogies, including the works of Rousseau, Pestalozzi and Froebel. She drew many of her ideas from observation and experimentation of children at different developmental stages and within different cultures.

the principles:

The observation of children from differing cultures led Maria Montessori to de ine “universal characteristics of childhood”. Britton identi ies these six characteristics as: -All children have absorbent minds: Young children have two stages of absorbing information. The irst, from birth to about three years, the mind unconsciously soaks up information. Impressions made on mind, learn social and cultural behavior are simply


Fig. 23: Learning Materials


absorbed without effort. The second phase: the conscious mind, seen from about ages three to six, is the ability to control actions with knowledge and preexisting language. They characteristically ask many why and how questions, and show conscious thirst for knowledge. -All children pass through sensitive periods: These periods include sensitivity to order, language, walking, all social aspects of life, small objects, and learning through the senses. -All children want to learn: All children have an “inborn motivation” to learn. Essentially, there is nothing we can do to stop learning, so it seems to only make sense to encourage and enhance the learning capability. Addressing learning, through active participation and hands on experiences, from day one will set a better footing for children down the road. -All children learn through play/work: Play is not speci ically just an activity. It is a useful tool for children to actively participate and learn both mental and physical skills. Work is not speci ically separate from play. -All children pass through several stages of development: There are three stages of development (one, two, and three) Stage one: from birth to age six, an unconscious then conscious absorption of learning. Stage two: six to twelve years, or childhood. Stage three: twelve to eighteen years, adolescence. -All children want to be independent: Children want to be independent, to help achieve this, we must teach the skills required for independence. Through Montessori’s Exercises of Practical Life children are able to reenact daily routines commonly performed by adults, but not with toys, actual tools.

The application:

Montessori developed speci ic games and activities for play and developing skills for different developments, from language and reading, sensory development, mathematical, science and nature, history, geography, and arts and crafts. Different games are speci ically tuned to different age groups, but commonly the tools transcend age. In a Montessori classroom, multi-aged groups (spanning three years in age) are put together to create a mentorship program where the younger children learn from the older, and the older children get the sense of responsibility. The learning materials are all placed along open accessible shelves and are organized sequentially from left to right. In most activities, there is a established “control of error” to measure one’s own progress, while teaching one skill at a time. 31 research

Fig. 24: Reggio Emilia Classroom

The founder:

Loris Malaguzzi spent the irst half of his professional life as a primary school teacher, beginning in 1940. He later went to earn degrees in pedagogy and psychology. The Municipal Psycho-Pedagogical Medical Center was established in 1950. The irst Reggio Primary school, built in 1945, was constructed by local families. He is notable for the traveling exhibition “The Hundred Languages of Children” which inspired a book by the same name.

The influence:

Reggio Emilia is the most contemporary educational technique I have researched. With Loris Malaguzzi’s extensive background in early education and psychology, he was inspired and in luenced by many historical techniques. The educational theories behind the Reggio Emilia teachings are strongly in luenced by the educational and developmental work of: Montessori, Piaget, Dewey, Vygotsky, Gardner, and Bruner. But it is also arguable that the majority of the in luence of the Reggio Emilia technique is simply inspired by their own community-based culture.

The Principles:

The child is “rich in potential, strong, powerful and competent.” The schools encourage and promote these attributes by encouraging: - The individual child to have control over the “direction of their learning”. - Children to learn through experiences and all ive senses rather than lectures. - All relationships and interactions between other children, teachers, and with the environment. Real tools and materials can be used by the children. - Children to have endless ways and opportunities to express themselves. 32

Fig. 25: Light Table Play

Fig. 26: Shadow Play

reggio emilia

Reggio Children explains Malaguzzi inds children to have one hundred or more “languages”, or key concepts of understanding, that they are born with (i.e. circularity, multiplicity, visibility, collectivity, open-endedness and courage). Reggio Emilia schools are intended to foster each and every different language.

The application:

- Active involvement from parents in the development and management of early childhood services. As well as a strong sense of community involvement within the school, the school plays a major portion within the local community. It is a reciprocal relationship. - Children learn through experience and senses; water, light ( ig. 25), and shadow ( ig. 26) are used for play and learning. There are many opportunities for large group, small group, or individual activities. - Teachers are viewed as enthusiastic learners and researchers and not as imparters of knowledge. They are similar to a student, rather than the standard idea of a teacher. - The role of the aterlierista–a practicing artist who supports the development of children’s learning, creativity and imagination– is central to the Reggio approach. There are typically dedicated rooms for the use of making art, ateriers. - Environment is the third teacher, after the teacher and the student. There are typically large windows for a direct connection to the exterior spaces while inside. But, students are encouraged to spend large amounts of time outside exploring and learning. - Projects and activities are long term concepts. -The walls of classrooms are used as gallery spaces for the children’s work. This can instill a sense of pride for the work each student is doing. “Color in preschool environments is usually a result of children’s work hanging from the walls and ceiling.” - Classrooms are centered surround an open piazza space, which all classrooms address. - Children remain with the same teachers for their three years of preschool.



longwood, lorida




Fig 31: St. Stephen Over the Years


Fig 27: St. Stephen Glass 1

Fig 28: St. Stephen Glass 2

Fig 29: St. Stephen Glass 3

Fig 30: St. Stephen Ceiling

Site history

St. Stephen Lutheran Church has a rich history at this current site, located on the edge of State Road 434, a major highway, and near the intersection of Douglas Avenue and Markham Woods Boulevard. It is also seconds away from the I-4 corridor. All of these thoroughfares make for a desirable civic site with ease of access. The original chapel was chartered in 1973, along with the of ice building and music rooms. With immediate proximity to the highway, the chapel was highlighted with a tall, narrow stained glass as the signage and prominence of the church. In 1983, the current sanctuary was built, and the chapel was replaced with the learning center. While the second loor attic became a dedicated youth room for the high school youth group, Solid Rock. Soon after the sanctuary, the Parish Hall and pavilion were built to complete the site for the next twenty plus years. The sanctuary is a truly beautiful space. The entry is elevated three feet higher than the sanctuary level. At the back of the church, near the entry/narthex, the baptismal font of beautiful blue tiles is surrounded by two ramps down to the sanctuary level.. The looring of shiny brown pebbles wraps up and covers the font, which spills over its edge into a small pool below. The pews are made of individual, interlocking plywood chairs covered in a thick red fabric. The aisle up the middle leads to the red carpeted octagonal shaped altar. Three sides of the square shaped church plan have stained glass windows, which were added over the years (Fig. 27, Fig. 28, Fig. 29). To the right the large pipe organ sits in the ground with the pipes reaching up to the stained glass window. The wooden columns curve up from the loor to make pitch of the roof. Below the steeple hangs a large three dimensional wooden cross (Fig. 30).

The learning center was used to house the Sunday School for thirty years. Overtime it was outgrown and quite run down. A large scale multi-purpose building was recently built to replace the chapel, learning center, and music room. While the building replaces the functions of the previous buildings, it lacks the integrity and symbolism of the previous structures, mainly due to budgetary circumstances. The scale of the new building is overpowering for the site. Th structure is so large does not allow for a sufficiently sized exterior space and playground. 37 site documentation

Fig. 32: Cummings’ Wedding


Fig. 33: Easter 2011

connection to site

Twenty eight years ago, my parents were married in the Sanctuary of St. Stephen’s. Twenty-four years ago, I was baptized at the baptismal font in the back of the sanctuary. Five years ago, my irst niece, was baptized in the same location, in my arms. And, seven years ago, my father’s ashes were buried in the memorial garden out back. There were many major life events, both happy and sad, in between and hopefully more to come in the future. Growing up, attending St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church was a very strong, signi icant constant in my life. It is always there, still, welcoming when I go home to visit. I have very fond memories as a child in Sunday School, as a teenager in youth group, and now as a young adult visiting. I know this church, its commmunity, and the bonds I have forged here at St. Stephen’s will have a lasting impact on who I am as a person. I am forever grateful for this. I truly hope that my nieces and the other children of the church grow with the church and ind themselves making these lifelong memories.

site documentation


Existing Floor Plan


Existing Conditions While the building is large, it lacks visual presence, especially from the passing highway. Where the old chapel stood out as bold signage, the Community Life Center shrinks away, and leaves a blank wall to address oncoming traffic. The existing building is set up with one corridor down the center of the building dividing it into two bars. The southern bar contains the entirety of the preschool classrooms, segregated from the rest of the building. The funneling entry is amongst a suppressed indent within the end of the building. Along the right, after entering, is the cafĂŠ, welcome center, lounge, and waiting area. Straight through and along the right are all the classroom spaces. To the left are the meeting rooms, the high school and middle school rooms, and the choir room, ending at an unused exit. The building is quite simple in concept and circulation. But, within its simplicity are monotonous spaces for children. The deep pitched roof, which reaches up to over twenty-four feet at the ridge, is blanketing the inside with a ten or eleven foot high suspended ceiling. Each classroom is divided with folding panels, and can be divided further (into quite unusable spaces) by hanging accordion panels. The classrooms have entries off the main corridor, a shared small bathroom between each, and a small window and door facing the playground. And, that is about it. The classrooms and exterior play space have a discernible lack of frills or ornamentation. The playground of Astroturf and a pre-fabricated play set does not do the children of the preschool any justice. There is a paver circulation path along the edge of the building dividing it from the play space. And, nowhere is there any covered exterior space, except under the three foot roof overhang. There is also nothing natural about the play space. No grass. No trees. No adventure. 41 site documentation

Fig. 35: Existing Circulation Plan

Existing circulation

The existing building is set up similar to a shotgun style home, with the only circulation beings down the center of the building, with all the rooms and spaces branching from the central hall. The classrooms each have four foot deep alcoves di ining the entry for two classrooms. This has formed a gathering and meeting area for the entry of each space to mingle with the neighbors. The classrooms also have shared bathrooms between each set. The classrooms share a moveable wall that can be folded to open the space. The main entry is de ined by being set deep within the two bars of the building. The high, pitched roof also de ines the entry, but also adds a level of protection from the sun and weather. The doors direct straight into the main corridor. The main pull from the entry is the cafe and seating area. The two bars of the existing plan, de ined by the circulation hall, are composed of classrooms. Classrooms along the North bar are designed for the older, high school and middle school aged students. The South bar is designed for the younger children. It is used for the preschool as classrooms and for Sunday school. Both bars are quite lexible to accommodate varieties. 42

Fig. 36: Modi ied Circulation Plan

modified circulation

The main entry and main circulation hall from the existing site have been modi ied to be exterior spaces. The main goal of this is to create more distinct de inition between the now multiple lengthy circulation paths. Since the entry door has been removed, the preschool side of the building has a separate entry, separating it completely from the North bar. In between the halves, half way down the breezeway, a courtyard space has been carved into the North bar. Each classroom has an entry facing toward the courtyard. Walking through the breezeway, the roof system has been extended into a modi ied shed, to allow light and air movement. The added second level of the classrooms reaches out into the exterior circulation, making a smaller, relatable scaled space for circulation below. These also frame the entries to the classrooms for easy way inding. The main circulation between classrooms is along the southern, glass facade.



design intentions

Fig 37: Sketch Model


Fig 38: Sketch Model

Fig 39: Sketch Model

Fig 40: Draft Model

Fig 41: Final Model



Fig 42: First Floor Plan


floor one The existing building is set up with one corridor down the center of the building dividing it into two bars. The irst design decision was to make this corridor an exterior breezeway to further divide the two halves, creating a space between. The existing entry was opened leading to the courtyard. The preschool has its own individual entry; pushed back to create a larger covered exterior space leading into the narrowed hall. The entry space currently exists as a café and waiting area: this program remains. The café has a small kitchen which will be open, with limited access, to the students. The café space is one opportunity for the entire student body to dine together. The main circulation for the school is now along the southern façade. The classrooms have large operable sliding panels to divide the separate classes. But, when fully opened, the panels allow for a large multi-use space. The sliding panels can also be positioned at six feet open to maintain a constant circulation access. The lat roof covering the exterior classroom space extends in to help de ine the circulation path. The four main classrooms each have separate sinks for convenience and to maintain an identity to each room. After the classrooms are large shared bathrooms separating the main classrooms from the nursery. The nursery differs from the other classrooms, because it is catering speci ically to infants. Where toddlers and children thrive typically in a bright environment, infants typically desire a more dreamy setting. In place of the loor to ceiling windows, there are clerestory windows along the roof line and low windows along the loor so crawling babies have a view to the 47 design exterior.

Fig 43: Second Floor Plan


floor two The existing building has a pitched roof up to twenty-four feet but with a ten foot drop ceiling throughout. To maximize the existing sectional qualities, the drop ceilings were removed to expose the existing wood truss system. Above the courtyard space the roof line was extended up over the breezeway to maintain protection from environmental elements, but allow natural light and ventilation. This creates a separation in the roof to divide the buildings along the classrooms, but the roof is continuous at the ends of the building. To take advantage of the ceiling height at the center, small second levels within each classroom were added. The second levels help to de ine and individualize the classrooms. Where the second levels break into the circulation space, they help to break up the scale in the breezeway. The smaller scale second levels become a secure area where children are able to observe people in the courtyard and breezeway, and observe students in the classrooms below. Toward the classroom, instead of using a traditional handrail, bookshelves with glass backings contain the spaces. These act as a functional interactive adaptation. The glass along the second level is fritted with alphabet letters and numbers. The textured glass diffuses the light, but also allows an opportunity for the students to interact with the architecture, by tracing the letters with either a inger or a dry erase marker. Herman Hertzberger states in Space and Learning that a rich environment needed for a school “meant an environment of change, of exhilarating experiences and opportunities for discovery; an environment rich in positive stimuli and above all where a social life is enacted�. 49 design

Fig. 44: View Down Circulation Hall




Fig. 45: Section A Drawing


section A Creating multiple environments within a single classroom allows for different sized groups to establish separate work areas, with minimal distraction or view of one another, maximizing the learning and activity. In Figure 45, Section A is cut longitudinally, showing both levels of the classrooms. The upper level is more enclosed, because of the sloping roof. But, on the irst level, it would be darker, because the second level is blocking natural light. This acts as a separate space from the irst loor area that is uncovered by the second level. This has a greater ceiling height, more direct light from the southern exposure, and an overall larger volume of space. A smaller space within the classroom is under the stairs; a dark and temporary enclosure only found when the stairs are open. The circulation path, deined by the extensive low overhead plane, would not be a populated area because of the traf ic tendency.



Fig. 46: Section B Drawing


section b Hertzberger encourages the design of an “articulated classroom”. “Wherever traditional classroom-based education is not given exclusively and so the teacher is not the constant focus of attention, the need for nooks and niches to work in, more or less screened-off or shielded places where one or more pupils can concentrate on their work.” This idea has been applied in a three-dimensional/sectional application rather than the plan examples and case studies Hertzberger has established. It is itting that this is applicable to the ideas of the interior classroom as well as its connection to the exterior classroom space, but also extends into the exterior play space. Figure 46: Section B is a cross section of the same classroom features mentioned below, and helps to demonstrate how the drastic differences height, scale, and emotive qualities de ine the separate spaces within this single classroom.



Fig. 47: Section C Drawing


section c

Figure 47: Section C is a cross section through the nursery classroom as well as the choir room in the existing portion of the building. At the point, the existing roof is continuous to bridge the two separated sides back together. The nursery maintains the original sloped roof; it is the only classroom with this feature. The nursery is intentionally quite different. St. Stephen’s Stepping Stones Preschool is the only preschool in the area that accepts infant children. Infants aren’t “taught”. They don’t need a typical classroom. Infants only need space to explore in order to learn. The light and glass within the space is limited, compared to the other classrooms. There are small windows along the loor and along the roof line, to allow in minimal light to create the “dreamy” environment desired but allow a large expansive view of the exterior from the ground.



Fig. 48: View from Courtyard




Fig. 49: Final Model





programmatic terms Applied

To defend the programmatic and spatial concepts I created, they have been incorporated in many ways throughout this example project. While the terms are not necessarily for a school or preschool, the program of a school is itting, because the architecture prioritizes children. Children are the dominant occupants of a school. All six characteristics have similar priority throughout the space, no concept holding more hierarchy than any other. The terms have been incorporated in many ways and many scales: from plan, section, all the way down to small details.

Programmatic terms applied


The windows that lank the southern facade allowing in natural light. The roof of the covered exterior space extends into the classrooms: to de ine the circulation space, to protect the classroom from the harsh southern exposure, and to re lect the color from underneath into the space. Each classroom is de ined by a separate color. Above the exterior overhead plane is a continuous strand of clerestory windows. The glass facade facing the courtyard allows light in, but they are more for creating a direct connection with the courtyard and circulation space. Similarly, there is a direct connection to the exterior through the southern facade. Fig. 50: Natural Light Diagram

The lexibility of the classrooms may be con licting, because there is no set function to the spaces; the lexibility is the primary function. The second level within each classroom is a much smaller environment promoting quieter activities. The stairs that connect each loor are deliberately wide enough to function as seating. The terraced exterior space creates different zones for activity levels. The materiality and environment help to give de inition as to what activity should occur in each space. The wooden elevated decking makes more noise when walked on: it might suggest walking slowly, or stopping and sitting. Fig. 51: Functionality Diagram

Secure spaces allow for the feeling of comfort and control. One prime example within the classrooms are the second level spaces. They are open into the class below, and have glass along the faรงade facing the courtyard. But the other solid walls and the low roof portray a comforting cozy space. The outlook into the courtyard allows the students to see the people arriving and leaving within the circulation space. In the covered exterior spaces, the structural columns were extended to create large structural walls to exaggerate their structural integrity and purpose. 64

Fig. 52: Security Diagram

The height of the child makes many spaces out of scale. To cater to their height, the height of many spaces were brought down as low as possible; the ceiling within the classrooms is only seven and a half feet tall. This also extends into the circulation space to break up the twenty-four foot high space. Since most of the facades are glass, the lowest mullions were place eighteen to twenty-four inches from the ground to act as an impromptu handrail for babies learning to walk, and to be out of the sightlines of the older toddlers.

Fig. 53: Perspective Diagram

The obvious manipulative objects within the classrooms are the sliding wall panel and the collapsible stairs. The sliding panels act as a door, a partition, or identi ication in the courtyard. The door is fully closed, and can be opened. The partition stands open at six feet to maintain the constant low of circulation. And, the when the panel is fully tucked away in the class room, it extends into the hallway, de ining an alcove for entry and identifying that the rooms are open. The stairs are collapsible to limit access to the second level, for security, and to allow the classrooms to open up the maximum amount to preserve loor space. Fig. 54: Manipulation Diagram

In order to de ine each classroom as having its own identity, a color has been assigned to each room. This color appears surrounding the second story enclosure and along the inside of each adjoining exterior space. The vibrancy of the colors may separate each classroom, but the architecture alone could suf ice. The separate second story enclosures de ine four individual spaces. These spaces are understood from the entry, without entering a single room. This clarity helps children to understand the spaces. Fig. 55: Spatial Clarity

Programmatic terms applied


incorporation of reggio Emilia

To recreate the architecture similar to a Reggio Emilia school, the preschool design incorporates the piazza, the connection to the community, and an atelier. The piazza is typically a public open space for gathering for a city, but within a Reggio Emilia school it is a centrally located gathering space for meeting and play. The central courtyard functions as this piazza type space, because it directly addresses all the classrooms with an open low of movement between. A church is de ined by its people, and its community. The school within the church has a direct relationship with its existing community. In order to foster and encourage creativity, an atelier is incorporated as a designated space for the creative arts, taught by an atelierista. This space would most likely be a temporary set up space either outdoors or within the existing untouched bar. Similar to the programmatic terms I created and incorporated earlier, Children, Spaces, Relations de ines desirable environmental characteristics for young children based on the Reggio Emilia schools. These terms are overall softness, relation, osmosis, multisensoriality, epigenesis, community, constructiveness, narration, and rich normality. To discuss the realtion of these prede ined terms with respect to the St. Stephen’s preschool project, I have elaborated on a few selected terms. -Overall softness Overall softness is “an ecosystem that is diversi ied, stimulating, and welcoming, where each inhabitant is part of a group but also has spaces for privacy and a pause from the general rhythms”. Within each of the classrooms there are many varied spaces based on their use. These spaces typically differ most from scale and connotation. I consider this term to be similar implication to Herzberger’s annotated classroom, with varied classroom shapes for multiple activities. Another key aspect of overall softness is the “strategy of attention”, the willingness to appreciate and respect one another. This isn’t an architectural concept, but it effects the environment of a space. 66

-Relation Relational spaces are ones that are relatable and understandable; “whose quality derives not from a theory but from a way of seeing, reading, studying, and interpreting reality, and representing it with critical awareness”. Relation is similar to functionality; the space can be read to interpret, understand, or appreciate its identity based on the spatial characteristics not the aesthetic or style. The preschool is understood by its qualities and environments, not the signage. This concept taps into the preexisting knowledge of children, similar to a schema in Piaget’s theory; children classify objects based on prior knowledge. This concept is easily applied to understanding architecture. A school is a school because the students understand it is a place of learning, by using their preexisting knowledge to interpret the use and designation of the space. -Multisensoriality “A complex environment made up of sensory contrasts and overlappings that are phenomenologically distinct: polysemy and balancing, negotiation of the patchwork effect or mélange, maintaining the perception of differences between the parts.” Just as we tire of similar tasting foods or repletion of the same activities, architecture should create an environment of spontaneity for the senses. Architecture should address all senses through multiple design techniques. Although all the classrooms are identical, the moving pieces can de ine different spatial con igurations to create a changing environment. The exterior space addresses many of the senses within the design process; from creating sight lines extending to the street, the sound of walking on different paths, and the touch of the different materials. -Narration “Self representation, the capacity of each space to narrate all choices and references that generate the school environment, like a hologram.” The classrooms spaces communicate the stories and activities of the students. Their work and projects are proudly displayed. In place of color on the walls, the classes opt for student work. The surface of the architecture is able to nonverbally communicate the process and stories of the students. Each room tells a different story, and these stories are ever-changing based on the progress made. The classrooms are talking to whomever will listen. 67 Reggio Emilia


Fig. 56: Door Sketch Model

Fig. 57: Wheel Section Sketch

Detail studies

To explore the details imagined throughout the project within the preschool, I developed larger scale (1/2�=1’-0�) detail models after series of sketches. This helped to visualize the connection of the pieces. Composite drawings of plans, sections, and connections aid in seeing the movement and relationship of the parts simultaneously. The tactile pieces required great care especially when considering materiality. All potions that are designated to be touched are made from wood: the door handle, handrails, and the stair treads. TO maintain the low of light between the classrooms, the doors are faced with translucent iberglass resin panels. This also allows the rotational movement of the wheels to be seen as the panel slides. A key learning technique in Reggio Emilia schools is playing with light and shadows. The translucent sliding panels are an excellent medium for the shadow play exercises between two rooms. The moving pieces act as interactive surfaces and an interface for the students to actively have a portion of control over their own spaces. The sliding panels have a lightweight steel structure to support the iberglass. The panels slide with a track imbedding in the ground and along a top guide rail within the structural wall. The very large two foot diameter wheels are sandwiched with the steel structure. The contoured handle, shaped to receive a hand, for the panel spans the entire height of the door. This allows any height adult or child to have the same interaction. There are two of the rod handles one on each side that move together. Lift the handle, slide the panel, and lower the handle into a receptacle imbedded in the loor. The receptacles are what maintain the door position: open, closed, or six feet ajar). Each step is made of three solid pieces of wood separated by contoured steel pieces. The identical steel pieces interlocked and shaped so that as the steps slide in or out, each piece stops at the proper location. The steps stack atop one another beneath the irst landing, eliminating the temporary small space below. To maintain a continuous handrail, the vertical handrail supports remain the same, but the bottom support has a pivoting connection directly to the rail, while the top support has a pivoting connection to a sleeve that the rail slides through as the stairs collapse, until the rail is vertical. 69 DETAIL STUDIES

Fig. 58: Detail Model- Fully Open


Fig. 59: Detail Model- Partially Open

Fig. 60: Detail Model- Fully Closed




door detail sections Fig. 61: Layered Door Detail Drawing




stair Detail sections Fig. 62: Layered Stair Detail Drawing




Fig. 63: Detail Model



Fig. 64: 78 Sketch of exterior

Fig. 65: Axonometric Sketch

exterior play space design

The form of the modi ied exterior play space is purely derived from the site. To maximize space and minimize site impact, I removed one row of parking and dedicated it to the play space. This may be a controversial decision in real life, but the outcome strongly out ways keeping eight parking spaces. In order to de ine separate spaces within the large open void, the initial design decisions were to create a terraced play space that steps up mimicking a hill. These levels help to de ine separate zones of activity levels relating to the classrooms and interior spaces. A large looped circulation path of two diverse materials, concrete or wood surround the main play space, and separate it from the nursery zone. The wood path is elevated from the ground to allow air, water and sound to penetrate below. This hollow sound is a de ining characteristic, incorporating multisensorial characteristics into the design intentions. The loud sound that is made when walking on the wood platforms will deter running, a louder noise. These wood paths and areas evoke a lower level activity. The wood path follows along the long boundary edge, down from the elevated platform, turns to create a large open space in front of a circulation space inside the preschool. As the wood path steps up to the elevated platform, the stairs are wide, with light handrails and open risers. The concrete path follows along the edge of the classrooms and turns to lead up to the elevated platform. The earthen path is characterized by its heavy materials and dense sound. These steps are slightly narrower than the other path. This is emphasized by the solid enclosure of the boundary wall and the slide. The steps are deeper than normal; designed intentionally for a child to run up. These steps make the very desirable shortest, quickest path from the bottom of the slides back to the top. The mass of the steps are quiet and encourage running.

Landscape design



Fig. 66: Final Model

Landscape design



Fig. 67 : View from Covered Exterior Classroom

Landscape design



landscape plan

The massive elevated platform space is divided into two parts, the solid and the open. Each has a respective slide; a narrow, slick wooden slide open below for one person at a time and a wide group slide that is shallower and slower. The connection of the two paths meets between the two slides. The concrete receives and supports the wooden structure. Along each path, the boundary walls are respective materials: wood or concrete. The wood walls are stacked lumber with gaps to allow for a view in and out of the space. The concrete walls are thick but typically shorter from the exterior, and can act as seating along the entry. As the wooden step rise, the wooden wall steps up with it, allowing the concrete wall to sink below for support, and boundary of the covered space below. The walls meet at the connection of the looring materials. At this point the wood walls are only along the second level. Below, in the covered exterior space, the concrete wall recedes to create an opening to the street, and allow light in. Streaked light is also entering the covered space between the gaps in the wood. This space is full of activity, and loud. The sound of people above is very obvious, and their shadows casted into the space. Fig. 68: Landscape Plan

Landscape design


“Children do not engage in the same kind of play in all places. The quality of the environment, the time for play, playmates, and the child’s personality all influence the kind of play that takes place at various locations. As play is not the same, play areas should not be designed to be alike.. ”

-Christopher Day Environment and Children


landscape details

Organized by activity level, the exterior space is divided into zones that respect and address the interior spaces of the preschool. Near the nursery classroom is a smaller, separate zone for quiet low level activity. There is direct access from the nursery. This space is primarily intended for infant use. The medium activity zone promotes waling, climbing and other activities. It is de ined by this large open elevated wood platform, climbing/sitting walls, the very large sandbox area, and is enclosed by the paths on either side. The climbing walls are multi-height horizontal and vertical planes that connect at different points to create paths for maneuvering. Two of the walls fold to produce horizontal planes for shelter, multiple levels of privacy, and connection. The angles of the walls are created in response to the roof line of the exterior classrooms and the angle of the wood path and periphery wall. Combining both concrete and wood create a language for the materiality; wood for the horizontal plans supported by the massive concrete vertical planes. The middle wall connects directly to the retention walls for the sandbox, which double as seating on both sides of the wall. The high level activity spaces have other traditional park components, like monkey bars, slides and swings. The structural columns supporting the wooden platform break though the decking, allowing for a climbing ladder access to the second level: another circulation option. Similar columns and access support the monkey bars that jut out perpendicular to the elevated platform. The monkey bars facilitate to multiple aged children, and are wide enough to permit use by several at a time. The bars span two of the terraced levels below creating two different heights and challenge levels: ive feet and seven feet. The end of the decking is cantilevered to create a space below for two swings. Perched higher than the levels below, the swing location allows the users to look down the terracing levels for a heightened sense of risk. The perceived risk is a design technique to facilitate play and activity in a safe manner. The lower levels of terracing are open for playful activities and are made of different materials, concrete, grass and wood, for differing experiences.

Landscape details



Fig. 69: Detail Section One

Landscape details



Fig. 70: Detail Section Two

Landscape details



Fig. 71: View of Exterior Play Space

Landscape design


Fig. 72: Final Model- Courtyard Facade



Deciding a thesis topic was the hardest decision I made within this past year. The idea of focusing on children within architecture sprang into my head after spotting a book Children and Environment on a library shelf. I regret not having this epiphany earlier on; summer is a great opportunity to get extra reading and research commenced. But, after a year’s worth of work I am excited about the opportunity going forward to implement these ideas with future projects. They say a thesis project never ends. Taking time to re lect on a year of work, I have learned to truly consider all the users of a space and their how their needs can develop the design. Children don’t ever get to be the client with a list of prioritized demands. Advocating for children was a great opportunity. Opportunities that lead to creating programmatic opportunities that prioritized children and their experience. Studying spatial experience granted me the opportunity to step towards making designs personal and different for each individual. Think about the user, all of them. Making special phenomenological moments that are applicable to only a select few begins the process to de ining user tailored architecture. This is how my thesis will manifest in my future: in experiential design techniques.


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Fig. 1: Infant study model Fig. 2: Olivia and Lilly Fig 3: Child Development Diagram Fig 4: Varied Experience Diagram Fig 5: Infant’s Day Diagram Fig. 6: Toddler’s Day Diagram Fig. 7: Child’s Day Diagram Fig. 8: Segmented Ground Section Fig. 9: Natural Light Study Model Fig.10: Functionality Study Model Fig.11: Security Study Model Fig. 12: Perspective Study Model Fig.13: Manipulation Study Model Fig.14: Spatial Clarity Study Model Fig. 15: Gift One- Fig. 16: Gift Two- Fig. 17: Gifts Three - Six- Fig. 18: Gift Seven- Fig. 19: Gift Eight- Fig. 20: Gift Nine- Fig. 21: Gift Ten- Fig. 22: Montessori Classroom Fig. 23: Learning Materials Fig. 24: Reggio Emilia Classroom

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Fig. 25: Shadow Play Fig. 26: Light Table Play Fig. 27: St. Stephen Glass 1 Fig. 28: St. Stephen Glass 2 Fig. 29: St. Stephen Glass 3 Fig. 30: St. Stephen Ceiling Fig. 31: St. Stephen Over the Years Fig. 32: Cummings’ Wedding Fig. 33: Easter 2011 Fig. 34: Existing Floor Plan Fig. 35: Existing Circulation Plan Fig. 36: Modi ied Circulation Plan Fig. 37: Sketch Model Fig. 38: Sketch Model Fig. 39: Sketch Model Fig. 40: Draft Model Fig. 41: Final Model Fig. 42: First Floor Plan Fig. 43: Second Floor Plan Fig. 44: View Down Circulation Hall Fig. 45: Section A Drawing Fig. 46: Section B Drawing Fig. 47: Section C Drawing Fig. 48: View from Courtyard

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List of figures

Fig. 49: Final Model Fig. 50: Natural Light Diagram Fig. 51: Functionality Diagram Fig. 52: Security Diagram Fig. 53: Perspective Diagram Fig. 54: Manipulation Diagram Fig. 55: Spatial Clarity Diagram Fig. 56: Door Sketch Model Fig. 57: Wheel Section Sketch Fig. 58: Detail Model- Fully Open Fig. 59: Detail Model- Partially Open Fig. 60: Detail Model- Fully Closed Fig. 61: Layered Door Detail Drawing Fig. 62: Layered Stair Detail Drawing Fig. 63: Detail Model Fig. 64: Sketch of exterior Fig. 65: Axonometric Sketch Fig. 66: Final Model Fig. 67: View from Covered Exterior Classroom Fig. 68: Landscape Plan Fig. 69: Detail Section One Fig. 70: Detail Section Two Fig. 71: View of Exterior Play Space Fig. 72: Final Model- Courtyard Facade




Britton, Lesley. Montessori Play & Learn : A Parents’ Guide to Purposeful Play from Two to Six. 1st ed. ed. New York: Crown, 1992. Print. Ceppi, Giulio, et al. Children, Spaces, Relations : Metaproject for an Environment for Young Children. Reggio Emilia, Italy: Reggio Children, 1998. Reggio Children, et al. Advisories. 1st ed. ed. Reggio Emilia, Italy: Reggio Children, 2002. Print. David, Thomas G., and Carol Simon Weinstein. Spaces for Children : The Built Environment and Child Development. New York: Plenum Press, 1987. Print. Day, Christopher, and Anita Midbjer. Environment and Children : Passive Lessons from the Everyday Environment. 1st ed. ed. Amsterdam ; London: Architectural, 2007. Print. Edwards, Carolyn, George Forman, and Lella Gandini. The Hundred Languages of Children the Reggio Emilia Aproach Advanced Reϔlections. 2nd ed. ed. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 1998. Print. Fisher, Dorothea Frances (Can ield). The Montessori Manual for Teachers and Parents. Cambridge, Mass: R. Bentley, 1964. Print. Fröbel, Friedrich, and William Nicholas tr Hailmann. The Education of Man. New York: D. Appleton and company, 1904. Print. “Froebel’s Kindergarten Curriculum Method & Educational Philosophy.” Froebel Education Kindergarten Curriclum Method. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2014. Hendricks, Barbara E. Designing for Play. Aldershot, England ; Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2001. Print. “Loris Malaguzzi | Reggio Children.” Reggio Children Loris Malaguzzi Comments. Fondazione Reggio Children Centro Loris Malaguzzi, n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. “Loris Malaguzzi and The Reggio Approach to Early Childhood Education.” Loris Malaguzzi and The Reggio Approach to Early Childhood Education. Bali Advisor, 2007. Web. 29 Apr. 2014. “Montessori Education.” Home. American Montessori Scociety, n.d. Web. 14 Apr. 2014.


Design on a Smaller Scale  
Design on a Smaller Scale  

Elaine Cummings Terminal Master's Project Thesis Document University of South Florida School of Architecture + Community Design