Academy |

Memphis, TN
35,415 SF
Completion date
March 2021

Porter-Leath | Frayser is designed to serve the education and development of children ages six weeks to five years. The building and site design create elements that represent the composition of music to create a visual fabric for the classrooms, community spaces and play areas. 

The child-friendly design utilizes natural light, musical elements, lush landscapes and bright colors that enrich learning opportunities. The lobby captures the music theme with the patterned acoustic ceiling representing sheet music and pendant lights variously spaced at differing lengths mimic musical notes. Ample physical space and light allow children the ability to explore, learn and develop. Interactive learning spaces enhance reading, pretend play, art, math and science.   

Dedicated adult amenities of the training center, observation bays and audio/video technology further the professional development of educators. With its kitchen facilities and collaboration spaces for staff, family service providers and parents, the building supports comprehensive childcare and the broader needs of families and the community. The flexible central multipurpose room can be used in myriad ways - from indoor play during inclement weather, to community classes. The sliding glass walls open to the lobby and extend the space for larger events.

The exterior form and immediate surroundings seek to make two comments to the community: a celebration of a shared language of music, and a celebration of the importance of early childhood care and education.
Multi-age outdoor space accessible from Multipurpose Room.
Classrooms with direct access to age-appropriate outdoor learning and play.
The interior entry provides a central gathering, a place that celebrates the performance of music together, communal space for activities, meetings and learning.
Multipurpose space for social and gross motor activities.
The spaces in-between contribute to the learning and development of the children beyond the walls of the classrooms, providing environments for socialization, exploration and gross motor play.
The end of corridors are flexible use spaces providing another learning and play destination during the day, one that also leverages the connection to the outdoor environments.
Classroom supporting needs of child and teacher.
The reception desk contributes to the discovery of music.
The reception desk contributes to the discovery of music.
2023 Architectural Portfolio Citation for Pre-K Early Childhood Facilities
American School & University Magazine