Children’s Village at Doylestown Health

DRG Architects designed The Children’s Village at Doylestown Health, a reconstructed facility after a tornado, as a village-like daycare with distinctive spaces for different age groups, emphasizing safety and functionality.

  • area / size 32,000 sqft
  • Completed 2023
  • The Children’s Village at Doylestown Health is an award-winning community daycare and early childhood education center. In August 2020, A tornado irreparably damaged Children’s Village, and we were selected to design the reincarnation of the beloved facility.

    Inspired by its name, the new facility is designed like a village, with a central lobby space resembling a village’s “town hall.” Shared learning spaces surround the centrally located lobby, which showcases a playful 3-panel mural and a lowered soffit for the students’ comfort. Color-coded “streets” extend from the lobby into age-specific program areas for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarten students. Shared spaces include a teaching kitchen with a 24” prep table and child-height oven and an art room with an in-wall aquarium. The library, enclosed by a curved glass wall, contains a bespoke tree installation complete with a treehouse and reading nook for children to read in and explore.

    Each of the five age-specific program areas were designed with teacher and staff input to meet each developmental stage’s needs. Classrooms include a child-height sinks and restrooms, and spaces for infants and toddlers include changing tables, cribs, soft surfaces, and heated floors for little ones who crawl and play on the floor. Areas for older children are more traditionally configured with tables and chairs, complemented by hallway niche spaces for breaks.

    Externally, the facility resembles a cluster of houses, each program area denoted by distinct, playful paint colors and roof angles. These program areas are welcoming living and learning spaces for children. The two front wings of the building reach out to guide visitors to the lobby entrance. Large glass windows flood the interior with natural light and create sightlines connecting indoor and outdoor spaces. Classrooms have direct access to outdoor playgrounds via covered verandahs where children can play on rainy days.

    Safety was front-of-mind throughout design and construction. Each classroom is equipped with a safe room for protection during severe weather, whimsical Lego-shaped bollards safeguard the lobby from vehicular intrusion, and low interior classroom walls create clear sightlines for easy supervision.

    Design: DRG Architects
    Project Team: Hany Y. Salib, Victor Rodriguez, Phillip Cacossa
    Photography: Ines Leong | L-INES Photo