Onsite Childcare Center Recognized for Interior Design

Northwestern Medicine
News November 16, 2012
Onsite childcare center view from the 2nd floorThe Bernice E. Lavin Early Childhood Education Center has been awarded an Interior Architecture Award Citation of Merit from the Chicago chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

The onsite childcare center at 441 E. Ontario St. encompasses the first two floors of a facility that includes 11 levels of employee parking. The center accommodates 320 children, with the older children on the second floor and infants and toddlers on the first floor.

Designers used a nature theme for the center, then broke out smaller sections using four elements—wind, water, earth and sky—to distinguish age groups and help kids and parents find their “neighborhood.”

Each level of the childcare center has its own covered playground, offering children year-round outdoor play. A two-story atrium with a bridge on the second floor that overlooks the library and music area provides places to read, sing, dance by a ballet barre, create puppet shows and participate in plays on a built-in stage.

Specialty classrooms including an art room and a science lab expand educational offerings for the children. An indoor play area doubles as a school-age camp room.

Before the new center opened, we took a look inside the new childcare center.