Southside Early Childhood Center
St. Louis, MO
From Feasibility Study completion to design, fundraising, lobbying, and execution, Oculus Inc.’s extensive community engagement and childcare experience is on display on the South Side of St. Louis.
The logistics of the build were straight forward. The first floor of the new facility houses the childcare center: 9 classrooms, an interior play room, laundry, kitchen, reading room, staff offices & break room. The administrative offices are located on the second floor and include: training/meeting/conference rooms, offices, and support spaces. But, getting to this elegantly simple solution took a great deal of collaboration, inspiration, and innovation.
We worked with SSECC’s personnel and prepared programming documents and test fit plans to layout the needed spaces and hosted a design charrette. Following the completion of the test fit plans, we developed Schematic designs and presentation renderings for SSDN to use for determining community support for the design, fundraising, and lobbying. We then crafted a design that maximized the features of the building while addressing licensing requirements, and both satisfied neighborhood concerns for contextual architecture as well as the client’s desire for a contemporary structure. Finally, Oculus Inc. presented the project in a public hearing formal board approval process with the City of St. Louis and MDH&SS. Along the way, the only staff recommendations where changing the paint color on exterior building cladding on the exterior rear of the building, a testament to our outstanding ability to address a client’s needs through clear communication and collaboration.