Learn & Share

Year: 2015

Function: Early learning childcare centre, Co-working offices and Collaborative services

Site location: Hindley Street, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Institution: University of South Australia

Brief description of the project: Introduction: The task was to design a publically accessible facility offering space for early childhood learning in combination with a collaboratively owned and managed community spaces. The final scheme proposed a design solution which demonstrates integration between the programmatic requirements of the internal activities and leverages relationships with the existing public realm and aspects of the urban fabric within the precinct. The design proposal responded to the conditions of being on a corner site with all four facades exposed and moderate passing pedestrian and vehicular traffic.

Design Features

Atrium Space: A driving concept of the childcare program was an atrium space that visually connected each floor and the profiled stair circulated around the void space. Accessing daylight from the north was important as the site was overshadowed by the neighboring buildings. Using an atrium with glazing to the north allows the classrooms and especially the ground floor to receive natural daylight.

Outdoor play spaces: The outdoor play spaces for the childcare program required 30% of the total floor area. The typical placement of an outdoor play space is on the ground floor or roof of the facility to create ease of access and surveillance. These two options pose problems in the sites urban context. At ground level the space wouldn’t receive sunlight and would universal access difficult. If placed on the roof there would be no visual connection from the classrooms and would be difficult to transport younger children up and down. To address this, the concept of staggered floor-plates on the northern facade was used to create outdoor play spaces that were extensions of the classrooms.

Creating a Community: The collaborative services located at ground level include a community kitchen and a library that specializes in food and cooking books. These two services encourage like-minded people to engage with each other and form new relationships.

Natural Materials and Vegetation: The outdoor spaces use range of natural surface materials as well as vegetation that blends into the internal spaces. A vegetable garden teaches children about nature and where the food they eat comes from.

Circulation as a Play Space: The intention of the stair is to act as an extension of the classroom and connect the different levels. The internal perspective highlights this component being used for play rather than just circulation. In this way, the space that would typically be used only to circulate is actually creating a dynamic space to interact with.

Lightscapes: Light is an important consideration in the reggio emilia approach, which is why it was important to show the dynamic ‘lightscape’ that was formed by the perforated screen. The play of light on a surface that continually changes creates varying atmospheres within the learning environment.

Nationality: Australian

Contacts: instagram: jp.arch

City and date of birth: Adelaide 12.10.1993

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Poster

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Author: Jeremy Pearce