New Playcentre in Remuera
The Remuera Play centre had located a site with an old house which was positioned close to the main road and ideally located for a play centre. The old house was not in good condition structurally so a new purpose built centre was designed to cater for 25 children and their caregivers. The site was sloping and bordered by a large concrete wall to the north. The brief required the centre to be sympathetic in style to the neighbouring houses, while providing sunny outdoor play, and good indoor outdoor connection. The internal layout needed to comply with Early Childhood Regulations, but provide a light sunny space that was able to be used in multiple ways as parents wished to facilitate their children’s play and learning.
The site was previously a Vets Surgery and consisted of an old brick and tile house in St Lukes, with two fibrolite dwellings attached to rear, and a rabbit warren of small unhabitable rooms inside. The aim was to create a light filled open plan space inside to cater for thirty children, as well as complying with the facilities required by the disabled code and a fire upgrade. A large carpark to the west was to be turned into a fun, but safe outdoor playarea with some nice existing street trees as a backdrop. The rigors of the resource consent processing required air quality as well as noise and traffic considerations in the centres approval. Some joinery design was undertaken to create a staff kitchen and some space for staff to relax and connect with the outdoors too.
First Steps Preschool
First Steps Kindergarten was a sessional kindergarten that catered for 28 children. The premises needed upgrading, and the client wished to increase the number of children to 40. This required resource consent, involving neighbors’ approval and a traffic engineering report. In the proposed design the existing house was partially gutted, and disabled facilities added along with a new entry, and reception. Kitchen, office and all interior joinery was purpose built, with a colour scheme supplied. Addition was required for the extra floor area needed to provide for the additional children as per the Ministry of Education’s Early Childhood Regulations. The utilization of space and its function throughout the entire building was revisited, and reallocated during this process.
We have a long history of experience in this area, having also worked for local government with the establishment of citywide childcare facilities. We’re also familiar with working with the complexities of the conflicting requirements of the New Zealand Building Act and Early Childhood Regulations. Colour and joinery fit outs and reassessment of existing internal space can make an enormous difference to the quality of the environment. Meeting those functional requirements well, being attractive and providing a supportive space for learning is a key to all educational facility design.