Masterbuild Commercial Winner 2013 - Magic Kingdom Childcare
This blockhouse Bay home has undergone major transformation.
Converting an understated two storey brick and weather board
home into a state of the art childcare facility for sixty children.
The removal of the existing façade and subsequent extension
re-engages the building with the street scape.
While largely untouched the upper level houses critical
facilities for staffing. Including offices, staff and laundry
facilities. The ground floor was stripped totally to make way for
large open plan areas, quiets room, toilets, resource room and
Children's toilet and utility rooms make the connection between
old and new while offering practicality and convenience to both
The new extension boosts two large play spaces, large cavity
sliders form the separation required for achieving a flexible
learning environment. Internal spaces connect to the outdoors via
covered verandas making for a smooth transition to an extensive
outdoor paradise. Verandas offer all year round protection for
children and staff. Outdoor areas are heavily landscaped to enhance
the children's experience and connect back to the building of which
boosts garden and magical themes throughout.
Expansive concrete areas form the main access point and drop off
points for parents. Landscaping forms the basis for the meandering
entrance while relaxing forest music plays through a number of
strategically placed speakers.
A new entry façade gives the impression the building is new and
modern, hiding tired architecture from the past. Weather board
cladding matches the existing while schist feature walls were
introduced to reinforce the connection to nature.
Design Features / Creative Solutions:
The existing building offered some design challenges, while the
owners brief was to reuse the existing building it did not fit the
requirements of a modern childcare facility.
The introduction of a false entry façade solved this problem and
allowed us to keep the old while parading the new. Large expansive
spaces, light, ventilation and supervision are key to a successful
facility. We achieved this by intruding floor to ceiling windows
throughout the centre. The use of motorised highlite windows to
increase natural cross ventilation, capture the maximum morning and
afternoon sun into the play spaces. The use of verandas to the
northern aspect of the property reduces heat gain in summer, offers
shade for the children and provides shelter during the winter
months making this a multi-use area.
Food preparation and distribution is key in a facility such as
this, located on the upper level the kitchen introduced a major
obstacle. The introduction of a dumb waiter meant food could be
transported to the lower play areas practically.
Internal surfaces are key to positive learning outcomes; autex
vertiface was used on the walls to reduce noise levels, commercial
carpet where teachers can run quiet reading sessions and vinyl to
heavy traffic areas such as the foyer, utility areas and main
routes to outdoor play. This not only durable but a most hygienic
Sustainability was also a key to the project; solar panels have
been installed to supply 100% of the centres requirements. This is
the first of its kind in New Zealand. Water tanks were also
installed for reuse in toilets, laundry and garden taps. Onsite
concrete was recycled and returned to site to be used a hard fill