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Universal Child Care Center
Universal City, CA


Mark Rios
Julie Smith-Clementi
Frank Clementi
Jon Black


This 10,000-squre-foot center accommodates 116 children ranging from infants to five year olds. There are 10 classrooms, a reception area, a director's office, and a staff room. An additional 12,000 square feet of exterior space is designated for playgrounds, walkways, courtyards and semi-enclosed shaded patios, some of which are built into and take advantage of the hillside site. Major building materials include concrete block and wood frame walls with plaster. The roof soffit consists of metal panels with a ceiling system of metal acoustic panels, fabric acoustic panels, and translucent panels. The sweeping uplifted ceiling provides views up to the top of the hill and out to the valley.
We designed three different age-appropriate classroom types. Our design grouped active, noisy program areas in the front two-thirds of each classroom, with easy access to the play areas, while quieter activities, nap rooms and crib rooms occupy the rear of the classrooms. The centrally located reception area is flanked by classrooms for infants and toddlers to the west and pre-schoolers to the east. We designed a special section, called the Discovery Room, for transitional-age children from 2 to 3 years old.