Our Kids Early Learning Centre is situated in Glen Eden, Auckland and is part of a green field’s subdivision. 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 and a dedicated break out space for staff that took in the extensive views of the Waitakere ranges. While also considering the sites full potential and obtaining maximum child license numbers.
The site had a steep contour down towards the north, based on that I decided to create an underground carpark to utilise the slope, allowing us to increase the license numbers and satisfying the clients requirements. 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 structure has a real presence and is cantilevered from the upper level to form a covered deck below. A combination of exterior cladding assists in defining the spaces within the building, creating shadow lines and texture. Standing seam vertical cladding to the first and second floors combined with Linea weatherboard makes for a very balanced elevation. A covered deck off the staff room that has views to the west, satisfies the clients brief. Parents and staff can access all floors either by lift or stairs.
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, expansive glass and large open plan areas offer you the sense of space while sliding barn doors divide spaces for greater flexibility within the centre.
Internal play spaces flow seamlessly to the outdoors via large sliders, covered decks provide shade and reduce the passive heat build-up during the summer while providing shelter.
Sustainable materials and products either in their manufacture, reuse or maintenance costs have been used, Linea weatherboard and standing seam metal cladding. Synthetic turf made from recycled materials and recycled at end of life. Water tanks for water re-use; LED lighting, ducted 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.