Interior designer Mary Currie of Edge Architecture chose materials from Wilsonart Laminates for Kid’s Place, a 60-bed foster care facility in Brandon, Florida, USA.

Kid's Place houses abused, neglected, or abandoned children from birth to 18 years, and is designed to be a soft and stable landing place for kids who sud­denly find themselves in Hillsborough County’s foster care system.

The facility has been carefully designed to create a safe and comfortable environment for the kids with the reception area dressed in soft, festive colours, anchored by a circular desk and framed in flowing lines. The intake or transition room is every kid’s fantasy playroom, filled with toys, a life-size tree with a fort in its trunk, video games, books and a television. Further down the hall, there’s a complete medical exam room and behind the reception area, is a large dining hall with a large mural. This main building also houses classrooms and administrative and staff offices while bedrooms are distributed throughout five other buildings on the five-acre property.

Mary Currie, whose firm, Edge Architecture designed the facility largely on donated time, explains that a Kid’s Place has to be a comforting environ­ment because many of these children come from abusive situations, and their behaviour can be unpredictable.

Currie, a licensed interior designer in Florida, had a few basic requirements for the materi­als used to create the space: they had to be extremely durable, easy to clean, and available in great, kid-friendly colours and designs. Having observed the substandard materials used at other facilities for abused kids, she was particular about selecting only durable surfaces in cheerful colours and designs.

Currie’s search led her to Wilsonart Laminates where she found materials with appealing colours, textures and variety. Seeking to create a space at Kid’s Place with nice colours and visual textures of different scales combined for a good sense of balance, her team started with primary colours and expanded on that theme to soft oranges, purples and greens, all calming colours that kids can relate to in an environment that was both soothing and engaging.

Beginning with the reception area, flowing lines run from the reception desk to the walls and the ceiling, with white tiles revealed like clouds through a green forest canopy opposite an earth-brown floor. Various themes and materials have been used throughout the facility’s administrative, educa­tional, and residential areas.

Feedback from the client has been very positive even after more than a year with the materials still continuing to look as good as new. Currie noted that working with laminates also helped them stay within the tight budget easily.

Edge Architecture specialises in corporate headquarters, medical labs, office buildings, office environments and retail spaces with Wilsonart laminates figuring heavily in many of their projects.

Currie adds that they like working with Wilsonart not only for their great colours and patterns but also their service.

Image: Currie’s team started with primary colours and expanded on that theme to soft oranges, purples and greens