Winner Renovation/Modernisation, Educational Facilities Awards 2015 Council of Educational Facilities Planners International (CEFPI)
Commendation Renovation/Modernisation, Victorian Chapter Awards 2015 Council of Educational Facilities Planners International (CEFPI)
We teamed up with not-for-profit Froebel Australia to build Froebel’s first early learning centre and kindergarten in Melbourne.
Sharing the same site as partners Deutsche Schule Melbourne, the German English bilingual school in North Fitzroy, inner Melbourne, the new Froebel centre offers childcare to 66 children from six weeks to five years.
Our brief was to repurpose former school buildings into an engaging and unique learning environment for young children and their educators and to create a communal hub for the German-Australian community.
The design approach centres on ‘rooms within rooms’, creating a diverse variety of intimate nooks and multipurpose environments for play, reading, art. The centre includes a play pod and even a racing track!
Alongside the whimsical, the design provides a superior solution for the hard-working practicalities of running a busy centre. The centre features teaching kitchen for food education, ample storage, and durable, low-toxic materials. Improved thermal performance is achieved through appropriate internal planning, retrofitting insulation and new double glazed doors and windows.
Sustainability is carried through to the outdoor environment. The garden, designed by Christina Silk from Silk Consulting Landscape Architects and Alexandra Gaunt from Lightbox 3D, features a kitchen garden, a shared entry with the Deutsche Schule to encourage meeting and mingling, and a giant slide whizzing from first floor straight into the playground.
Purpose built areas provide educator training facilities for the Stiftung Haus der kleinen Forscher ‘Little Scientists’ program.