CHAPTER 7: INTERIOR SPACE DESIGN
design concept development, as it has been noted that this feature in existing
centers is often underutilized). The main entrance should be in close
Provide views of the short-term-parking area from the entry vestibule and
proximity to an adult toilet room for use by parents.
design the windows to have low sills so that children can look out of and
into the center. This vestibule should consist of two sets of doors to provide
Permanent entryway systems (grills, grates, etc.) should be designed into
energy conservation, and the door must be arranged in a way to permit
the floor at all high volume entryways to capture dirt, particulates, etc. from
use by those in wheelchairs, as well as provide a flush-mounted walk-off
entering the building.
mat to prevent water and soil from being tracked into the center. The
entrance will require some security devices for control, and must be provided
Other points of entry for the facility include service entry access to the play
as designated by ADA and FPS's security risk analysis. This equipment
yards and the classrooms. The main entry should include an exterior
should be non-intrusive and have a non- threatening appearance. Refer to
transition area (where a covered bench for good-byes, "shoe-tying," and
Chapter 10 for more information on technical requirements. In areas with
other child/parent interactions can comfortably occur). A vestibule for energy
snow and ice, a roof overhang or canopy shall be installed to ensure the
conservation, conforming to ADA dimension requirements, and a reception
exit access is readily accessible at all times.
area are also required. Secondary entries should have transition areas,
but do not require thermal vestibules. Consider providing porches or mud
Provide a reception area immediately inside the entry. This area needs to
rooms, depending upon climatic conditions, particularly in rainy locations.
It may be desirable to alarm secondary entrances also, especially where
be warm, bright and welcoming, and as comfortable as possible. It is
these locations are difficult to monitor.
essential, in marketing the center, that it have these qualities. The reception
area connects the entrance to the main circulation pathways of the center,
Fire egress doors should also be alarmed.
and from this area parents escort children to the classroom.
7.1.7 Exterior Transition Spaces:
A reception desk, at desk height, may be provided in large centers. If it is
Ground materials and landscaping leading to the building entry should be
provided, it may be designed in a way that allows it to serve several functions.
designed to minimize the potential for tracking soil and water into the
For instance, it may incorporate sign-in facilities or the parent/teacher
building. Rough textured ground surfaces are appropriate at these areas,
"mailboxes," or both. A counter, which is typically simpler and less expensive
than a reception desk, may also serve these functions. If space permits,
combined with landscaping that keeps soil and foliage away from the path
a small table or desk would be appropriate. In all events, a child should be
able to see the adult behind the desk upon entry. Typical furnishings in the
reception include a sofa, chair, end table, and coffee table.
All exterior entries used by children must have transition spaces consisting
of a bench and a covered area of not less than 2 square meters at a
A slotted fee box for tuition checks should be provided near the reception
minimum. "Covered" means with a roof, canopy, or trellis. Transition spaces
area, together with cubicles for parent notices as well as a notice/bulletin
are important in creating a comfortable environment and integrating the
exterior and the interior. These spaces allow children to adjust to the changes
board. Select durable finishes that have an informal, comfortable
between interior and exterior light levels and temperatures. The transition
appearance, and establish a warm, inviting feeling through use of color,
spaces also may serve as a "mud room" or may provide an intimate area
soft seating, plants, and art work. Recommended finishes include carpeted
for children within the outdoor environment.
floor and a wall finish, which is washable and durable.
Overhanging elements extending from the building, such as porches,
7.1.10 Main Circulation:
verandas, canopies, or arcades can create successful transition spaces
There are two types of circulation paths in a center: the main circulation
and in some climates can be used for program areas.
connecting the various classrooms and major spaces of the center, and
the internal circulation patterns within those spaces. Circulation within
classrooms will be discussed in the classroom section of this chapter.
PBS-140 - July 2003