Skip to content

Maryann Thompson FAIA (2005)


Maryann Thompson FAIA, was educated at Princeton University and the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University, where she received Masters in Architecture and in Landscape Architecture. She brings to her practice an interdisciplinary approach where issues of site and landscape are central to design thinking.

Full Biography

Maryann Thompson FAIA
Founder, Maryann Thompson Architects
Women in Design Award of Excellence, 2005 winner

Located at the edge of a corporate campus, the Early Childcare Center is conceived as a series of rectangular volumes that dissolve into the adjacent wooded landscape. The program and conceptual plan were developed with an owner team, prior to hiring a childcare provider, with the objective of creating a mentally stimulating environment with ample connection to the outdoors.

The center’s massing is broken into smaller spaces, scaled to the child, and arranged in a series of linear bands. Fingers of landscape weave between these bands, tying classrooms to daylight, nature, and fresh air. The volumes step gently uphill to the south, following the natural grade of the site, and splay, providing direct access to the landscape at each level. A glass encased central spine, composed of shared spaces, is open to both the interior and the site. Ramps meander along this spine, creating an unfolding spatial sequence; the child is continually linking together the site and the building in new ways, provoking curiosity and encouraging exploration. The abundant natural daylight throughout the interior creates a genuine relationship between the child and the daily cycle of the sun. Large expanses of windows reduce the need for artificial light and the fractured roof form brings light from above, mimicking the forested condition of the site.

The 20,000sf center provides space for 180 children, aged infant through 5 years, and is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

Elisif 20200218 6312 Copy

Image courtesy Elisif Brandon Photography