Photo by Rochelle Padilla

UP Interior Design students breathe new life into a tired 22-year-old Kalinga Day Care Center

'Project Kalinga: Nurturing Spaces for the Future ' draws inspiration from treehouses in designing Kalinga Day Care Center's interiors
  • January 17, 2020

  • Written by Gabbie de la Cruz

“Daycare centers act as a midway between homes and the idea of a schooling system. We based our design on the concept of treehouses as a collaborative space between adults and children,” says UP BSID class of 2020. As part of their capstone course ID 179, batch 2020 BS Interior Design students from the University of the Philippines Diliman chose the Kalinga Day Care Center as their beneficiary.

With the course involving planning, designing, and executing the project, the students, despite their number, managed to finish Project Kalinga within a semester. The entire design process covered everything from conceptualization to construction. UP BSID batch 2020 shares that they renovated only the public spaces as classrooms will be shouldered by a different sponsor.

The ‘Project Kalinga’ team

1.        Reception Area & Teachers’ Room Design Team

a)       Mikee Arevalo – CAD Operator & Procurement

b)      Catherine Asejo – Site Coordinator & Quality Control

c)      Sophia Teaño – Externals & Publicity Co-Head

2.      Recreation Area Design Team

a)    Gaille Marquez – Secretariat & Procurement

b)    Dana Sangalang – Project Head

c)    Steffi Yuquimpo – Design Co-Head & Finance Head

3.      Kitchen Area, Storage, and Toilet Room Design Team

a)    Erielle Ekong – Quality Control & Site Coordinator

b)    Clement Ignacio – Design Head

c)    Rizza Tabios – Procurement & Quality Control

d)    Angela Titular – Externals & Publicity Co-Head

The center is now designed with wood finishes inspired by woody treehouses, with splashes of colors incorporated to make the design appealing to children. “We wanted the design to reflect our goal of creating a growing, imaginative, and learning environment,” says UP BSID batch 2020. Apart from renovating the center, the students also opted to apply minimal changes to the floor plan to maximize on spatial measures that were already effective. “We also wanted to show that the design and layout also accommodates and attends to the needs of the adults,” they share.

Renovated spaces


[Before] Upon opening the main door, welcoming the children, parents, guardians, teachers, and guests inside the center is the receiving area. Image courtesy of UP BSID class of 2020

[After]  Students share that they did not settle with one furniture provider to make the project more personalized. They incorporated the bright colors only through accents, but highlighted wood finishes in the entire interior design. Image courtesy of UP BSID class of 2020

Teacher’s room

[Before] The teacher’s room is a small space reserved to give teachers privacy in planning lessons and activities for the children. Image courtesy of UP BSID class of 2020

[After] Despite the room’s size, students were able to maximize the area by keeping the design simple, making sure there is enough walkway and storage space. Image courtesy of UP BSID class of 2020

Recreation area

[Before] The highlight of the center is the recreational area. It serves as the main area for students to get to play and interact with each other. Image courtesy of UP BSID class of 2020

[After] UP BSID batch 2020 brought in new educational toys and books for the children. The recreational space mirrors the design concept the most, incorporating accents inspired by trees and using shades of green. Image courtesy of UP BSID class of 2020

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Kitchen area

[Before] The kitchen occupies a huge portion of the kitchen, storage, and toilet area. Most of the changes in the floor plan were applied here. Image courtesy of UP BSID class of 2020

[After] Students converted the leftmost part of the kitchen into a dining area, providing a comfortable space for teachers and staff. Image courtesy of UP BSID class of 2020

Storage area

[Before] The storage used to be a nonfunctional area of the center, with excess materials dumped inside. Image courtesy of UP BSID class of 2020

[After] To get rid of clutter and avoid having idle spaces, UP BSID batch 2020 converted the corner into a spacious cooking area. Image courtesy of UP BSID class of 2020

Comfort room

[Before] Beside the storage area is a narrow and vertical comfort room. Image courtesy of UP BSID class of 2020

[After] The comfort room was redesigned by the students in such a way that users will not find the area constricting. Image courtesy of UP BSID class of 2020

Floor plan

As-Built and Designed floor plan of Kalinga Day Care Center
Making use of the entire kitchen space, the students allotted a small space to be used as a breastfeeding station. Image courtesy of UP BSID class of 2020

Kalinga Day Care Center is located at 101 Aglipay St, University of the Philippines Diliman, Quezon City. It started as a project of the UP Center for Women’s Studies (UP CWS), and the UP CWS Foundation, Inc. (UPCWSFI).

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