ZIMMER PRESCHOOL: Design Elements as Learning Tools
The six dimensions of contrast (Anita Olds)
define the organization and elements within the design.
1. In/Out The bear cave in the older two’s classroom allows children to
explore aspects of in/out.
2. Up/Down The various levels in each classroom especially in lofts gives the child a sense of prospect.
3. Light/Dark The skylight in the three-year-old classroom offers
the contrast of light and shadow in the drama area under the loft.
4. Exposed/Tempered The various trees in the corridor and classrooms can offer shelter and refuge. And the large
expansive windows in the building offer exposure and a vision
of the world at large.
5. Something/Nothing Colors are limited throughout the school but are used to define areas where needed. The principle that empty
space and no color allow children’s imaginations freedom of expression.
6. Order/Mystery Elements of surprise are often found within an
ordered space such as the exposed pipes in the four year old art shower.