Marlon Blackwell Architects - Marygrove Early Education Center: a safe, nurturing, and inspiring environment for children
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Marygrove Early Education Center: a safe, nurturing, and inspiring environment for children

Marlon Blackwell Architects

Education  /  Completed
Marlon Blackwell Architects

In the fall of 2018, The Kresge Foundation unveiled a new cradle-to-career educational partnership located on the campus of Marygrove College in the Livernois-McNichols district in northwest Detroit. Collectively known as the P-20 Partnership, the innovative education model features a new state-of-the-art early education (EEC) center, K-12 school, and undergraduate and graduate studies opportunities.

Set just to the east of the Liberal Arts Building, a 4-story Tudor Gothic structure built in 1927 and the flagship building on the Marygrove Campus, the new Marygrove EEC seeks to establish a condition of resonance between old and new. The new one-story structure is low in profile but establishes a signature profile that is both deferential as one approaches and bold upon arrival. Polychromatic facade panels compliment the material weight and heft of the Marygrove EEC’s neighbors and tie the building back to the many historic masonry facades of Detroit.

Three courtyards introduce abundant natural light into the building and mark the journey from the building entrance to the classrooms. Each classroom looks out into the landscape with those at the south opening directly onto an existing, old-growth grove that is transformed into a large natural play space. A Gross Motor Room is situated at the heart of the building along side of central courtyard. This ever-active space opens onto the Piazza, an internal child and family community space providing informal gathering space for school performances, meetings, or events.

2022:
» AIA Detroit Honor Award

2023:
» AIA National Architecture Award

The new programs will extend the legacy of the Marygrove Campus as a beacon of educational value and augment the surrounding neighborhood revitalization efforts. The Marygrove EEC will be home to the new programs and support up to 150 students ages birth through five years of age. The Center’s program and design supports the Provider’s whole-child focus, with spaces to support physical, intellectual, and social development. Three courtyards introduce abundant natural light into the building and mark the journey from the building entrance to the classrooms. Each classroom looks out into the landscape with those at the south opening directly onto an existing, old-growth grove that is transformed into a large natural play space. Integrating architecture and landscape the Marygrove EEC will offer a place where children can experience the rhythm of the days and seasons, inspiring their imaginations, empowering them to learn through play and creativity, and imparting dignity, grace, and joy to the children, families, and community the Center serves.

Through careful design and planning, the Marygrove EEC will serve families and provide a safe, nurturing, and inspiring environment for children to grow socially, physically, and intellectually. The Marygrove EEC offers a place for children to experience the rhythm of the days and seasons, inspiring their imaginations, empowering them to learn through play and creativity. It imparts dignity, grace, and joy to the children, families, and community members that the center serves.

Credits

 Detroit
 16696
 Marygrove Conservancy
 Early Childhood Education
 04/2021
 2682 mq
  22,077,604.00 $
 Marlon Blackwell
 Marlon Blackwell, Meryati Johari Blackwell, Justin Hershberger, Mari McLeod, Stephen Reyenga, Colby Ritter, Callie Kesel, Leonardo Lieva Rivera
 Barton Malow Builders
 Heirdun Hoppe Associates, Intoto Studio, Margie Ruddick Landscape, TM Light, Commtech Design, Studio NYL, McIntosh Group, Amy Baker Architect, & Stephens-Bangs Associates
 Timothy Hursley

Curriculum

Marlon Blackwell Architects (MBA) is an agile, full-service design firm based in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Our belief that architecture can happen anywhere, at any scale, at any budget—for anyone—drives us to challenge the conventions and models that often obscure other possibilities. We use an economy of means to deliver a maximum of meaning in places where architecture is often not expected to be found.


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