This Early Learning Centre sits in the heart of Blockhouse Bay, Auckland amongst several residential dwellings and within walking distance to the main village. Our brief was to create a contemporary facility with functional outdoor spaces for children while having regard for the local architecture and residents. There was an old brick home on the site of which we decided early on needed to be removed. This enabled us greater scope to develop the site to its full potential and create a functional centre for a modern learning environment.
Design Features and Creative Solutions
The site had a gentle contour to the west, based on that we nestled the centre into the site enabling us to create level access into the building and assisting in mitigating potential acoustic issues for the neighbours. The building is set back off the road to enable safe maneuvering of cars while also providing outdoor play areas to the north/west 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 shadow lines and texture. Standing seam vertical cladding to the upper floor combined with the horizontal louvers makes for a balanced elevation, cedar cladding to soften the front facade and Linea weatherboard to create a connection to local architecture. 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, raking ceilings and open plan areas offer you the sense of space. Flowing seamlessly outdoor 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, including Linea weatherboard, standing seam metal cladding 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 met the client’s expectations in every aspect.