Like other schools Chaminade made the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Program a top priority, due to a critical need to better connect students to science and nature. Besides stronger coursework in these disciplines, these students need “hands-on” life experiences as important in shaping their aspirations and work ethic. DG2 Design, THD Design (civil engineer), DJM Ecological, Chaminade and the Deer Creek Watershed Alliance partnered on a design build project that uses water-efficient building methods to enhance Chaminade’s front lawn. The redesign uses bio-retention basins, native plants and coir filter socks to collect, infiltrate, and treat runoff on the Front Lawn teaching gardens. In addition to removing pollutants from stormwater, these methods reduce the amount of runoff discharged into the adjacent Denny Creek and the Deer Creek Watershed.
DG2 Design is working with the Lemay Child & Family Center to design a new natural based playground that aligns with the Center’s goals to provide early education and support for families in a diverse, nurturing environment. Their existing playground had old equipment that was no longer safe, is not accessible for children, of differing abilities, and has water that does not drain well off of the property, leaving it unusable at times. With nearly 3 acres of land, DG2 Design is creating a distinct playground with areas for each age group, plus it will include gardening, natural features, bike and stroller paths, sports fields, shade, and much more. The Outdoor Learning Center will be the next step in the larger multi-year plan to improveour facilities so that the children have the quality learning environment they deserve. In addition to fundraising documents and hosting an open house, DG2 is working with the Center to apply for multiple grants.
Key Elements of the Outdoor Learning Center
Physical Development, Social and Emotional Development, Creativity and the Arts, Literacy and Language Development & Critical Thinking and Cognitive Development
Raintree School is a private kindergarten and preschool & Missouri’s FIRST FOREST SCHOOL. Inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach, a Forest School committed to helping children gain academic breadth while maintaining their love of learning through project-based explorations. DG2 Design helped Raintree design their new NATURAL PLAYGROUND and FOREST. Photos by Triple R Photography.
For many schools a “school playground” no longer fits the bill — the swings with rules about direction and the slides you’ve been instructed to not climb up. “School playgrounds”, after all, mimic nature’s playground, but rather poorly. Why use monkey bars when real branches are full of crags and moss and texture? Why use stairs when boulders will get you there? Why have a plastic playground molded to look like nature when Missouri is full of woodland and prairie? DG2 Design collaborated with HKW Architects to ensure the building and playground had a seamless design.
DG2 Design is proud to be a part of the design-build team renovating the St. Louis County Courthouse in Clayton, MO. The $122 million project includes major renovations and additions to the existing building, including a sub-grade parking garage. The designers at DG2 worked with KCI Construction Company and Fentress Architects to develop a design for the surrounding streetscapes. A native plant palette will be used to provide a planting design that includes street trees, screening, and custom concrete planters. For more information, and to see more architectural renderings, please go to: St. Louis County’s website
Construction is expected to be completed by late 2016. *Architectural rendering by others.