Aspirations Early Learning Centre is situated in Papatoetoe, Auckland and is set amongst residential dwellings. Our brief was to create a contemporary facility with functional indoor and outdoor spaces for children, plenty of natural light and ventilation for quality learning outcomes, a dedicated break out space for staff. While also considering the sites full potential and obtaining maximum child license numbers.
The site had a contour to the south and tapers towards the rear which increased the complexity of the project and ability to achieve usable outdoor spaces for the children. The first floor is primarily for the children while the second floor is dedicated to staff.
Design Features and Creative Solutions
The building forms are strong allowing the facade to engage with the street, the upper level cantilevering to form a covered entry. Cedar cladding to the upper floor combined with Linea weatherboard and Linea Oblique makes for a very balanced elevation in texture and offers great colour contrast. Coloured port holes on the front facade adds some fun to the architecture and engages the children from the interior spaces.
Once inside there are three play spaces off a central reception, each space offering large open plan areas, making for easy supervision of children. Sky lights are used to ensure spaces have natural light and ventilation. The building steps to enable full use of the site.
Internal play spaces flow seamlessly to the outdoors via large sliders, covered decks provide shade, reduce the passive heat build up during the summer while providing shelter. The outdoor play area faces north to maximise sunlight hours.
The upper level has good visibility over the carpark, good engagement with the street and extensive landscaping which speaks to good urban design principles.
Sustainable materials and products either in their manufacture, reuse or maintenance costs have been used, including Linea weatherboard, Linea oblique and Cedar cladding. Synthetic turf made from recycled materials and recycled at end of life. Water tanks for water re-use; LED lighting, air conditioning combined with double glazing throughout to assist with reducing power consumption.
This is a well-appointed and thought-out facility that met the clients brief in every aspect.