A progressive Art Kindergarten in Tenleytown, Washington D.C. needed a new space that will provide a stimulating and evocative environment for their students. Program functions include class room spaces, indoor and outdoor play space, a cafeteria and office space. The site is challenging because of the steep slopes surround the site. Conceptually the building is based of the metamorphosis of a butterfly, just as a cocoon provides protection and nourishment as a butterfly develops, a kindergarten must to the same in order to allow the students to bloom and spread their wings.
The central space is recycled rubber play space that is surrounded by the opening wings of the butterfly providing a safe area for students. Flanking spaces on either side of the wings act as the cafe and office spaces. Above the protected play space is the large cocoon, which is an open floor plan that has three classrooms. The roofs of the cafe and office are green spaces that provide protected outdoor play areas. The walls of the kindergarten use an illuma wall system which is a polycarbonate glazing system that is lit by colored led lights.