< K-12

Goodwin College

Early Childhood Magnet School

A place to learn which is grounded in the natural world, the Early Childhood Magnet School is set into the earth and opens to the outdoors, filling it with light. A home for learning, a community nourished by a relationship to organic life, a unique design created in collaboration with the users.


  • East Hartford, Connecticut
  • Complete Architectural Services, Artwork
Project Size and Type
  • 34,000 s.f.
  • New Construction
  • Completion: 2013


A process of collective creativity engaged everyone at the very outset, from the President of the College to the teachers and all the consultants. Openness and willing participation allowed diverse talents to actively contribute, inspiring the design solution.

Art Integration

Four leafs of trees indigenous to the site identify each of the four wings of classrooms. Sculptures inside and out remind children of their special tree: maple, oak, poplar or beech. Native grasses are recalled in woodwork; acoustic "clouds" float above the gathering space.


The delight of the children simply being in this school is clearly evident. The Reggio Emilia philosophy of learning is apparent in every detail, "an aesthetically pleasing atmosphere highlighting the beauty of the natural world."

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