Slideshow: New York Small World’s Indoor Playground
Brooklyn, New York- The Movement Room, at the epicenter of the newly renovated and expanded New York Small World Daycare Center, lives up to its name.
Designed by Efficiency Lab for Architects, the movement room is an environment where children’s physical sensations can be fully engaged, allowing them to use their whole body and strengthen their muscles by crawling, running and jumping. The custom indoor playscape was fabricated using fire-retardant plywood by Situ Fabrication, a local company that, according to its website, “specializes in the engineering and construction of experimental and technically demanding projects.” The plywood is wrapped in impact-resistant padding with high-quality, easy-care fabric.
The geometry of the undulating playscape transitions smoothly from concave to convex. The rolling curves of the playscape wrap around to form egg-shaped niches where children can rest or hide in the flowing continuity of the playscape.
The Efficiency Lab has strategically positioned the movement room in the center of the floor to maximize student access in all classrooms. Upholstered pieces form corners and niches, curving around the corners and columns of the space to support movement and experimentation. Children can rearrange many pieces to shape their own environment, allowing for a sense of active participation and direct engagement. Blue was chosen for the gamescape to create a sense of depth and expand the visual boundaries of space.
In addition to converting the former office space into a movement room, the architectural firm updated four classrooms with new lighting, millwork and furniture. The redesigned classrooms incorporate natural materials such as parquet. Walls are lined with tackable surfaces to display children’s work and create an interactive learning space. The scope of the project totaled 4,345 square feet and also includes a new office, new restrooms and hallways.
“Designing for empathy has been a key concept for all of our school projects,” said Aybars Asci, founder of Efficiency Lab for Architecture. “For New York Small World, we designed a fun environment for social learning through play.”