James M. Singleton Head Start Center

A sustainably designed facility for community services that sensitively responds to scale and fabric.

Education & Institutional

New Orleans, LA

13,000 SF


The James M. Singleton Head Start Center provides support to the low-income children and community of Littlewoods in New Orleans East. The Client, Total Community Action, focused on creating a center to house early childhood education, social services, and services for children with disabilities. The facility was designed to create a sense of community while respecting the residential scale and fabric.

Indoor play areas have respective exterior classrooms, blurring the bounding enclosure of the buildings’ structure while creating a continuity of the varying learning environments. Each classroom has a glass facade which spills out onto private patios. Stairs split each patio and lead to a generous enclosed playground. Outdoor play courtyards are toothed into the administration and service areas, maximizing exterior fenestrations.

Integrating progressive building systems and sustainable materials throughout the facility provide lower operating costs and improved educational experiences. Materials were chosen with an environmental conscience and include recycled rain-screen panels and a high albedo roof membrane. Other exterior materials have been designed to resemble lap siding and wood fencing found throughout the single-family residences in the community.

Recognition for James M. Singleton Head Start Center


AIA Louisiana
Award of Honor

AIA Gulf States Region
Award of Merit