Project Description

Giraffe Early Learning Centre, Three Kings

Situated in the bustling residential center of Three kings, Giraffe Early Learning Centre is an ingenious utilization of limited space designed to sit comfortably within the neighborhood’s urban logic with a contemporary architectural form that responds to the street presence and scale of the vicinity. Accommodating for 110 children aged 0-6 the purpose-built childcare Centre incorporates two outdoor playgrounds and 4 classrooms across 710m² cultivating children’s rich sensitivity and independence through the feeling of a nature inspired environment designed with state-of-the-art facilities and high-quality architectural design.

Organized over two storeys the centre follows the site boundaries with a sleek rectangular form and elevated play areas overlooking the busy main road with a glass streetscape. Internally spacious open plan classrooms of sizeable zones are linked with seamless indoor and outdoor movement, connecting each to a luscious outdoor playground where growing foliage is playfully introduced for a natural canopy. The upper storey playground lends rhythm and richness to the overall architectural design further unifying the projects core vision of nature and rare wildlife inspired spaces.

Architecturally the flowing spaces are arranged with a uniform elongated volume, finished with natural and honest materials to create a familiar residential feel. Internally the classrooms incorporate themes of the natural with playful Autex treetops and natural plywood products integrated with custom designed cabinetry to mimic a natural environment. Employing a neutral color palette, the building acts as a canvas in which children are encouraged to make a space of their own where they can fine tune motor skills and feed their own curiosity.

The natural integration of sustainable features throughout the design includes extensive passive ventilation and good winter sun penetration in deep room, External shaded areas such as the concealed carparking and entry space is provided by extending the first floor in an integrated way. Similarly, the outdoor decking area on the ground floor is covered to minimize heat and glare. With extensive glazing covering the two ends of the building low E-coated glass is implemented for minimal heat loss.

Effectively glazing and cross ventilation throughout the building minimizes the need for mechanical heating/cooling and artificial lighting within the classrooms ensuring a healthy indoor environment is maintained.

Facts + Figures

Client: Giraffe Early Learning Centre
Location: Three Kings, Auckland,
New Zealand

Construction cost: Confidential
Area: 1126.81m2
Programme: Completed 2021

Project Team: Phil Smith,
Nathalie Samuelian, Akash Kumar

Construction: LEP Construction
Landscaper: Natural Habitat
Interiors: Guyco Joinery

Image Credit: Joe Hockley

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