Downtown Houston Childcare Center

Civic & Community, Schools


Houston, Texas


10,000 sf

Project Features
  • Childcare center in an urban setting
  • Flexible learning spaces
  • Access to natural light
The Downtown Houston Childcare Center is an oasis in the heart of city that provides a comfortable, warm atmosphere for students of various ages. This facility helps collapse the barriers between work, home, and school and softens the rigidity of a bustling urban business district.
This client wanted to create a home-like, caring atmosphere for its students. They hoped for a space rich with natural materials and textures that promoted creativity, allowed for exploration and flexibility, but also a reflected their commitment to building a healthy, sustainable environment for young people.
From a design standpoint, the L-shaped courtyard building was carefully designed to shelter students from a busy urban corner as they play and learn without sacrificing stunning views of the downtown Houston skyline. The classroom layout and colors create a warm environment and allow for easy way-finding and access to natural daylight, providing internal and external views. The building systems explore new technology for Houston, introducing chilled beams for cooling and radiant floors for warmth, relying on the lessons of gravity and convection to create an efficient and optimum thermal environment.
Nicola Springer, AIA, LEED AP 713 426 7510
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Nicola is an expert in 21st century learning environments and educational design – from pre-K to collegiate. In her role as preK-12 team leader, she has created state-of-the-art public and private schools and developed PlayTheory, a process that engages stakeholders in a fun, collaborative way to gather quantitative and qualitative information that is used during the design phase. With 17 years at Kirksey, her talents and experience are utilized for many community projects as well.

  • AIA Houston Design Award, Less than 50,000 sf, 2013
  • Houston Business Journal Landmark Award: Public Assembly, 2014
  • ASID Gulf Coast Chapter, Commercial - Education, 2014