Valerie A. Larson Head Start & Family Resource Center

Valerie A. Larson Head Start and Family Resource Center - Dillingham, AK


This Head Start and Family Resource facility fills a crucial role in the education of Dillingham's youth. It brings Head Start and family based social service programs together, fostering family and community in this remote fishing community.


The building is designed around five 20-student classrooms organized into a north-south running bar. Classrooms line the southeast side of the corridor, allowing them to capture the sunlight so crucial to student well-being during dark winter months in this northern latitude.


Building colors were selected from Dillingham's vernacular architecture. The colors reinforce the lineal scheme, which, in its transformation from concept to architecture, has created a "streetscape" along the eastern edge of the building. Children know which room they belong to, which fosters their sense of community with classmates and other classes. The form, color, and playfulness of the building place its ownership firmly in the hands of the children, and therefore ultimately the community.