Play Perch – Approved for SEED Evaluator Part II

Summary: Play Perch – located on the nature trail of the Jowonio preschool in Syracuse, NY – allows for an enclosure on the path for learning and play. Students of the Jowonio School represent the full range of developmental and physical abilities within the 3-5 year age range, such as speech and language impairments, developmental delays, and physical limitations. Play Perch provides a range of spatial qualities that allow for moments of tightness and expanse, particularly enjoyed by Jowonio’s autistic students. Design elements including porthole windows and a large cantilevered window provide unique views. Selecting a material palette was critical for encouraging auditory, visual, and somatosensory sensitivities – a major focus for preschool students. Additionally, varied types of spaces allow for different social interactions – another major focus of preschool education.

Issues addressed: Accessibility, Child Care, Learning, Recreation/Play, Access to Nature

Community served: Preschool students of the Jowonio School. The student body comes from a broad array of national and ethnic backgrounds, meaning that some of its students do not yet speak English. Scholarship opportunities and a sliding scale approach to tuition allow for a much broader socio-economic reach. In all respects the school has sought for the last several decades to prevent exclusion in the early learning environment.

Results: The project is approved for Evaluator Part II. It was completed in 2013 and is currently in use.

Collaborators: The Jowonio School, Kristen Antonacci; Syracuse University; Syracuse University School of Architecture, Randall Korman, Dean; American Institute of Architecture Students, SU Chapter; AIAS Freedom by Design, SU Program

Design Team: Advisors: Larry Bowne, Sinead Mac Namara; Ford Bostwick; John Cardone; Jeff Cheung; George Guarino III; Zach Harwin; Christina Hoover; Brian Luce; Sean Morgan; Sally Morrow; Doug Moskowitz; Steven O’Hara; Michael Palmer; Michaelle Williams; Mark Zlotsky; Ben Anderson-Nelson; Tom Arleo; Jessica Borri; Gabriel Boyajian; Charles Brock; John Coleman; Mark Hernandez; Tyler Holdren; Dong Min Shin; Winnie Tu; Emily Wutz; Sherina Zheng; Daniel Hopkins. Additional student volunteers at