Fairchild Air Force Base Early Childhood Development Center

Award Winning Design.

This AMC Award Winning Design was the result of a design-build competition to challenge architects, engineers, and contractors to pool their talents to provide a turnkey facility, unlike any other USAF example. The program’s goals were to create a safe, secure, healthy place where up to 300 children would be happy, nurtured, and stimulated. The design had to be single-story, reflect a residential character, and utilize finishes compatible with base materials standards.

The 3.6–acre site has an irregular shape, a feature the design uses to its advantage to offer children an enticing peek at the outdoor play areas. The central corridor’s high and low ceilings create a feeling of lightness and openness throughout the building. The movement from flat to sloped acoustical ceilings distinguishes child quiet time activities from imaginative play areas. The use of color is inherent in guiding young children to their rooms. Custom-designed furniture defines special activity areas in the childcare rooms. Administrative offices are purposely blended into childcare areas, and an automated video security monitoring system records each day’s activities.

User satisfaction is evident throughout the center, including increased enrollment from 150 children to 220 children in the first seven months. Administrators notice less conflict between children since moving into the new facility; a fact they attribute to the “well-planned space.”


  • 1996 Air Mobility Command Design Award


  • Client: US Army Corps of Engineers, Seattle District
  • Location: Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington
  • Size: 26,000 square feet
  • Completed: 1994

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