Conceptually the project responds to an integrated model of child care, education and community, creating flexible indoor and outdoor play spaces and blurring the boundaries of age to create a play terrain across an inner city industrial site. The project rehabilitated a brownfield site previously occupied by a mechanics workshop, the raw materiality, utilitarian scale and the residual automotive insignia of which has been playfully incorporated into the final design.
The various functions are collected around the vertical circulation and breakout spaces, encouraging informal encounters and fostering learning opportunities for both children and adults. Formally this is characterised by voids which allow views and passive observation, provide changing light conditions and incorporate tiered seating and flexible working environments.
The entry building, conceived as an elevated timber volume cantilevered over a concrete core, was designed to weather with time and, like the warehouse before, to be robust enough to proudly wear its use. The stacked and shifting storeys are reminiscent of ‘jenga’ blocks, each move creating an opportunity for play, light and landscape.