Mi Casita Preschool and Cultural Center, designed collaboratively by Barker Associates Architecture Office and 4|Mativ Design Studio is located in a new mixed-use development in Brooklyn.
The program called for three classrooms to occupy a large space with 15′ ceilings on the ground floor of the building with a lower level for support programming. The space is organized around an L-shaped trough sink that becomes a social gathering spot and that also functions as a bathroom sink.
Divisions between rooms are made with furniture to provide flexibility so that the space can be transformed for special events including performances organized by the school’s artist-in-residence.
The school’s focus on being a “home away from home” and learning from the different cultures that coexist in Brooklyn led the designers to incorporate graphic elements relating to home and city in the design of the space.
A large house-shaped vitrine on the mezzanine will showcase seasonal displays that relate to the curriculum. House-shaped cutouts in the walls provide child-sized reading nooks and passages through the space. A graphic in shades of pale blue in the tile mosaic around the bathroom and trough sink references the city skyline and is echoed as a linear element in the window treatment.
Color is used for dramatic effect throughout the space. Turquoise on the ceiling and light globes give the sense of being under a bright blue sky. Orange is used in cutouts in the walls and accent elements in the space. Orange-lined stairs lead down to the parent-co-working space.
About BAAO Architects
BAAO Architects is an award-winning multidisciplinary practice based in New York with a focus on exploring spatial and material practices that adapt to the evolving relationships between inhabitants and the built environment.
BAAO has worked in the public and private sector on a range of projects that include ground-up private residences, interiors, and institutional and retail projects in the New York area, regionally, and internationally. The firm has engaged with a range of private and corporate clients including The Hudson Companies and Trinity Real Estate as well as developers for residential units in Inner Mongolia, China
About 4|MATIV Design Studio
4|MATIV is a boutique design and architecture studio based in Brooklyn, NY. Our design philosophy includes concepts of functionality, simplicity, timelessness and suitable character. Our practice embodies these ideas and they are expressed in the development of a thoughtful design language that informs all of our work. We are a service-based business, working on a wide variety of private and commercial projects with the capacity to see those projects through the entire span of the design process, from conception to construction. We provide design solutions that are tailored to our clients’ needs and desires, while remaining aware of the specific conditions and limitations that each project carries.