Project Description

Northcote Early Learning Centre, Northcote

The vision of the childcare learning centre was to create a sleek modern building, with elevated play areas overlooking the scenic bush reserve. The centre takes inspiration from the surrounding nature on site, providing children with maximum views and connectivity to the outdoor environment with a glass streetscape.

Formed with imposed block walls, base plantation with native New Zealand clematis creates external green walls, allowing the building to blend into the lush green backdrop of the surrounding context.

Internally, spacious open plan rooms are set out across two levels to allow free movement and play, both indoor and outdoors between two rooms. The large sliding doors open to a canopied terrace where infants of mixed ages can occupy generous playgrounds for all weather play, stimulating diversity within a healthy environment.

Careful selection of a neutral material palette was made to create a homely base, to which children can easily identify. The Plastered concrete block walls retain the filled areas of the site, with a smooth external finish. The cedar timber stair-well styled with aluminium framed windows generate warm and comfortable internal spaces.

The centres central philosophy is inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach, where the third teacher is the learning environment. Taking this forward each learning space has been implemented with environmentally sustainable strategies. Passive cooling and heating maximises daylight and provides natural ventilation. During Summer, the large floor to ceiling sliding doors opened up to allow passive cooling, while the adjacent bush reserve naturally filters fresh air within the internal spaces.

Facts + Figures

Client: Little Wonders.
Location: Northcote, Auckland New Zealand

Construction cost: Confidential
Programme: Completed 2017

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