House of Tiny Treasures

May 2017   Houston, TX


  • SEARCH Homeless Services


  • Studio RED Architects
Key Points

A collaboratively designed daycare facility uses flexible spaces and opportunities for nature play to support early childhood learning.

Nature Play

Asakura Robinson designed flexible play equipment that allowed kids to transition activities from outside to inside, while ensuring that teachers had high visibility to supervise kids. One successful play equipment piece was a mud kitchen put together by the NFL’s Houston Texans team and other volunteers.

Comprehensive Design

Asakura Robinson worked with SEARCH and Tiny House teachers and staff to design a learning space that supports early childhood education. The team’s designs also incorporated the surrounding ecology, including existing trees, green infrastructure, and natural wood in the building design.

Community Relationships

Asakura Robinson worked with SEARCH on a previous daycare project. Because of this existing relationship, the design team was able to ensure a seamless implementation process for House of Tiny Treasures.

Asakura Robinson worked with SEARCH—an agency combating poverty and homelessness in Houston’s 3rd Ward—to design the House of Tiny Treasures, a daycare facility for clients who needed a safe and nurturing space for their children while they go to work, school, or apply to jobs.

Asakura Robinson teamed with Studio RED Architects to design a fluid daycare space for SEARCH that allowed for outdoor activity and easy transition into the classroom. Asakura Robinson’s design plans for SEARCH’s House of Tiny Treasures included nature play components, as well as preserving existing tree ecology. This was the only daycare center in the vicinity providing early childhood education for toddler and preschool aged children who are either homeless or living in deep poverty.

SEARCH was a returning client and used Asakura Robinson’s expertise to design a creative, safe, and low cost space with great visual penetration. The design team incorporated a mud kitchen, outdoor deck, and flexible play equipment that could be used indoors and outdoors. The outdoor play areas can be seen from inside the classroom, creating a fluid open space with no hindrance to visibility so that teachers could monitor both indoor and outdoor activities. This project was a community effort where Asakura Robinson provided the design plans and contractors and community volunteers constructed the building and play equipment.

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