Cornell Child Care Center

Location: Ithaca, NY
Size: 16,000sf

Cornell’s historic dedication for success and premier education led them to expand on their ideas, working with studioMLA Architects to design and build a new 16,000s.f. building on an iconic gateway site.

Integrating the need for quality environments for childcare, the center provides space for 162 children of University employees and graduate students and combines an observation component for research. The building is situated on a gentle sloping grass meadow alongside on a widely traveled roadway into campus. In attempt to minimize impact on the site, the building steps down with the natural grade on the south side, appearing residential-scale and inviting at its entry. Consequently, on the prominently-exposed north side, the building appears as if it emerges from the meadow, framing a dramatic view to all campus passer-byes.

In theme, all circulation within the building is by means of ramps, in lieu of stairs and an elevator. The plan is organized around an earth-bermed common motor skills space with direct walk-out access to an open-air courtyard providing all of the children convenient and private access to their respective outdoor spaces.

studioMLA Architects provided full architectural services for this project.