Six fresh and sustainably designed Australian childcare centres

May 10, 2018 Architecture

All people, no matter their age, are influenced by their surroundings, and a space’s design should inform how we use that space. For children, this is especially important as they learn to navigate and be inspired by the world around them. We’ve discovered Australian six childcare centres that incorporate fun, fresh design with sustainability.

  1. Goodstart Early Learning Centre, Brisbane

Photo credit: Christopher Frederick Jones

Once an upper floor of an inner-city shopping mall, Goodstart Early Learning Centre was transformed by Gray Puksand into a child-friendly oasis. The structure started with good bones, with two levels to play with and a central atrium skylight that floods the space with natural light.

Photo credit: Christopher Frederick Jones

The designers have created separate play areas to allow for age-based learning. The play equipment and fittings are inspired by nature and the children enjoy a private rooftop kindergarten playground, sandpit, herb and vegetable gardens and their very own tree house with a slide.

  1. Arena Child and Family Centre, Melbourne

Photo credit: Tom Blachford

The building design at Arena Child and Family Centre is inspired by children’s drawings and a sense of ‘home’. Headed up by CohenLeigh Architects, the internal two play rooms are designed to be welcoming and homely with their vibrant and playful painted walls, house-shaped bookshelves and muted soft furnishings.

Photo credit: Tom Blachford

Environmental sustainable development principals were a key driver for this project and the solar roof panels, shading control, orientation and natural ventilation will keep this vision alive well into the future.

  1. Mother Duck, Brisbane

Photo credit: Jacqui Blanchard and RDW Photography

Described by Australia’s Assistant Minister for Education, Hon. Sussan Ley MP, as one of the best example of childcare design, Mother Duck is delighting the community and its children with its contemporary, usable and fun architecture.

Photo credit: Jacqui Blanchard and RDW Photography

The design was completed by Context Architects, using the concept of an ‘Aussie backyard’ as its inspiration. The internal double-height ceilings and large windows offer floods of natural light. The outdoor play area includes a water park and mini-amphitheatre, creating a space that encourages children to explore and discover.

  1. Gold Street Children’s Centre, Melbourne

Photo credit: k20 Architecture

Upgraded by k20 Architecture in 2015, Gold Street Children’s Centre is located in the heart of Collingwood, Melbourne. The external design features a strong, geometric line of yellow that wraps around the outside façade. This aesthetic continues inside with light, bright, open spaces and a pitched ceiling in the main children’s area.

Photo credit: k20 Architecture

As well as incorporating a simple, striking design, the brief focused on ensuring sustainability approaches with no negative cost impact.

  1. East Sydney Early Learning Centre, Sydney

Photo credit: City of Sydney

This 1920s industrial building has been reimagined to provide a welcoming childcare centre and community space for the locals of Darlinghurst, Sydney. Consisting of three levels, the inside space is conceived as a ‘mini-city’ with a series of play houses and pods that connect through a network of laneways and indoor parks.

Photo credit: City of Sydney

Nature plays a significant role in the outside landscape with interconnected bridges stretching above enclosed, manicured green spaces. The centre is topped off with a rooftop garden with a city vista.

  1. Froebel Early Learning Centre, Melbourne

Photo credit: Shannon McGrath Photography

Awarded for its renovation and modernisation at the 2015 Educational Facilities Awards, Froebel Early Learning Centre is an architecturally inspired space full of whimsical design.

Photo credit: Shannon McGrath Photography

Designed by Steffen Welsch Architects, the concept centered on ‘rooms within rooms’ – creating multipurpose nooks for play, rest and activities. An in-built racing track and giant slide create a space where the room provides the fun. Low-toxic materials and high energy efficiency were built into the design to ensure ongoing sustainability.

 About the Author: Annie Reid

Annie Reid is a qualified journalist, professional copywriter and published author with a passion for everything bricks and mortar. For many years, she’s written thousand of stories for newspapers, magazines and clients around the world. Somewhere between the heady buzz of headlines and deadlines, she discovered a niche for creating tailor made content for the property, real estate, architecture and design industries. Annie holds a Bachelor of Arts and is currently studying a Masters in Publishing and Communications, both from the University of Melbourne.

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