Connecting Children with Nature

Willow Creek Children's House

Seattle, WA

Rooted in Place

This adaptive reuse project transforms a timber-frame office building into a biophilic and welcoming learning space for infants through preschool-age children. Light-filled classrooms open to views of Willow Creek and a verdant Northwest landscape with some plantings dating back to the historic Nishitani family-owned plant nursery that once occupied the site.

Room with a View

An existing greenhouse enclosure and outdoor patio were updated to provide interconnected biophilic spaces for children and staff. Visual connections to the creek and lush landscape of native ferns and shrubs invite observation of the changing seasons and waterflow. In classrooms, elevated climbers allow the youngest children to view the landscape and outdoor play.

Building Upon Good Bones

The renovation sensitively integrates structural upgrades and different space needs without sacrificing the building’s beautiful, exposed timber frame. New skylights bring natural light deep into the classroom spaces, and low-emitting materials support healthy indoor air quality for young bodies.

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