New Shoots Children's Center Hamilton is a 100 child early learning center, sited in what was a tree-fringed car park on the edge of a mid-sized town in the central North Island of New Zealand.
Whilst the tar sealed area provided little inspiration, the dappled light of the mature trees provided a beautiful setting for the outdoor playground, which was arranged below the trees to capture their shade cover.
New Shoots Children’s Center Hamilton was simply placed on the site to provide a view out onto the trees and playground, adopting a simple ‘pavilion in the park’ concept, with a floating white roof, supported on two timber boxes.
The boxes house all of the service spaces, whilst the void in between the boxes forms the classrooms, enclosed by a fully retractable glass wall. At the entrance to the building, a large welcoming lounge is placed alongside the completely open kitchen, showcasing the quality of the food that the center provides to the children each day and providing parents with a welcoming drink or snack.
Circulation space to the classrooms is minimal and is conceptually based on a high end ‘shopping street’ – providing a window onto each room, showcasing the beautiful environments within.
New Shoots Children’s Center Hamilton has really captured the market in this location, setting a new bar for early childhood quality outside of Auckland, and has subsequently filled in less than one year.