Hoa Mai Childcare

The Hoa Mai Vietnamese Bilingual Preschool is a childcare facility designed within an existing mixed-use retail building for Sound Child Care Solutions. It includes full- and part-time care for 43 children, ages two to five. Working within the parameters of the existing building, SMR used the former retail spaces for classrooms while providing all the administrative facilities necessary for running a childcare center. The design resulted in cost savings by maximizing classroom sizes, efficiently grouping facilities together to share bathrooms, and selectively locating classrooms and teacher offices.

With the floor area at a premium, an 18-foot-tall ceiling allowed for creation of a mezzanine level, used as a lofted teacher breakout room. This reduced the footprint of the administrative offices and increased the amount of floor area for the classrooms, resulting in a greater capacity of the childcare center. Two existing exterior patios were repurposed into playgrounds to provide a combination of natural play area for learning, while hardscapes provide areas for larger group motor actives.
SMR worked directly with the Department of Early Learning to obtain approval of the design as a retrofit and helped create an access control plan to ensure safety in a multi-use building.

Client: Sound Childcare Solutions in collaboration with Artspace and the Vietnamese Friendship Association
Location: Seattle, Washington
Program: 3,500 sq. ft. tenant improvement with over 2,000 sq. ft. of classroom space, two privately accessed and fenced exterior play spaces, the facility can accommodate up to 48 children between  two to five years old, community kitchen, and administrative office space
Highlights: Part of the Seattle Preschool Program (SPP) pilot program, the first Vietnamese-English dual language childcare center in the Northwest and only one located in Seattle