Cummins Child Development Center, Columbus, IN (1997-2001)
The Cummins Engine Company, enlightened patron of the small town of Columbus, decided in 1997 to provide its employees and general public a child care facility. The one level 22,000 sq. ft. building occupies a corner site in the midst of the Cummins Engine manufacturing campus. Bordered by a well-tended creek to the west and a recently expanded bridge to the north, the site enjoys views toward a modest residential neighborhood and to the beautifully landscaped Central Avenue (a work by the legendary landscape architect, Dan Kiley). The center’s spaces consist of sets of independent modular classrooms, catering to a variety of age groups: from infants to toddlers, from two year old to preschoolers. A continuous single-loaded internal street echoes the building’s footprint, and creates a protected central playground area. This wedge-shaped space collects natural light, transmitted to each individual classroom through layered interior windows.