Flance Early Learning Center
Architect: Trivers Associates
Owner: St. Louis Housing Authority
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Category Three: Community–Informed Design Award
Sited on one of the last failed public housing high-rise structures in St. Louis, this early childhood center aspires to proactively alter the course of the most impoverished zip code in Missouri. The design process involved meetings with community leaders, volunteers, and private partners to address the needs of children and the neighborhood. The program’s instruction, daycare, nutrition education, and integrated wellness center for 164 children of mixed-incomes is unique among other childcare centers.
The massing of the center provides an abstracted, organic-formed facade which creates a shaded interstitial porch for each classroom’s outdoor access. Like dappling light through a tree canopy, perforated metal filters the light, shading the south and west-facing glass, contributing to the facility’s pending LEED certification. A sophisticated yet playful palate fills the interior with light and energy, allowing the building to remain a canvas for learning and creating. It starts early, nurturing one child at a time.