This Early Learning Centre will sit amongst newly developed commercial and residential projects. Our brief was to create a contemporary facility with functional indoor and outdoor spaces for children while having regard for the local architecture and future residents.
Design Features and Creative Solutions
The subject site is flat with views to the estuary and easy access from the main Road. The building is set back off the road to enable safe access and manoeuvring of cars while also providing extensive outdoor play areas to the north/east to maximise sunlight hours.
The building forms are simple yet effective, combinations of exterior cladding to assist in defining the spaces within the building, creating deep shadow lines and texture. Dark vertical cladding to the lower and upper floors combined with white horizontal weatherboard offers contrast and well-balanced elevations, vertical timber battens and cedar cladding to the entry soften the elevations, linking the building to the local sand dunes with colour and form. The upper level has good visibility over the carpark, good engagement with the street and extensive landscaping which speaks to good urban design principals.
Inside, the play spaces are generous with raking ceilings in part to create volume, large glazing, good ventilation, and open plan areas that offer you the sense of space. The centre also boasts a dedicated children’s dining area additional to MOE requirements and a commercial sized kitchen. Acoustic wall and ceiling paneling will be used along with quality commercial carpets and vinyl to enhance the spaces and reduce background noise.
Play areas flow seamlessly outdoor via large sliders. Covered decks provide shade and reduce the passive heat build-up during the summer while providing shelter during the winter.
The upper level is primarily designed for staff and contains quality spaces for down time. Starting with an open void area looking down into the children’s play area, a large staff room with a self-contained kitchenette and external covered deck with views to the estuary. A generous meeting space, non-contact room, managers office, toilets and large storage room, complete what is a space staff will want to use.
Sustainable materials and products either in their manufacture, reuse or maintenance costs have been used, Linea weatherboard, timber battens and cedar cladding. Synthetic turf made from recycled materials, water tanks for water re-use; LED lighting and heat pumps throughout assisting with reducing power consumption.
A well-appointed and thought-out facility that will meet the highest of expectations in every aspect.