Discovery Meadows Child Development Center

Location: Gaithersburg, MD
Size: 20,800 SF

The mission of the AstraZeneca/MedImmune Discovery Meadows Child Development Center is to provide safe, high-quality onsite childcare to the children of AstraZeneca/Medimmune’s employees and to local surrounding families in the Gaithersburg, MD area. Working closely with a client focus group, the project team emphasized connecting children and nature and creating a curriculum centered on exploring and understanding the natural world. Through a series of engaging concept design meetings, we agreed to follow a “simply elegant” design guiding principle through the entire process.

The 20,800 SF curved plan frames the private forest area while the building steps down with the existing grades to provide direct access to the playground from each classroom. The program accommodates 144 children ranging from infants through preschoolers and includes an after school component for 36 kids, ages 5-11. A large Multi-purpose space connects to a south-facing roof terrace which leads to a STEM pavilion by way of a covered bridge.

Discovery Meadows was completed in 2017, and is targeting LEED Gold Certification. The project earned the K-12 Education Award of Merit from Engineering News Record Mid-Atlantic.