Larapi Child and Family Learning Centre

Wynyard, Tasmania

Status :

Completed 2023

Photography :

Natasha Mulhall

The Larapi Child and Family Learning Centre provides a warm and welcoming environment for local families to bring their young children to play and connect with other parents, centre staff and any service providers they may need.

Symbolically bearing the palawa kani name for the Flowerdale River which flows through much of the municipality, the centre is intimately tied to its broader geographical setting, creating a strong connection with place.

Drawing on the duality of the Wynyard urban grid juxtaposed against the meandering river, the planning of the centre uses these two contextual elements to shape the building.

The principal interior spaces are designed to be comfortable, calming, engaging and robust; the overall experience a familiar one, resembling an extension of the home.

Play is the fundamental theme throughout both the building and nature-based playground, with elements provided that challenge, engage, inspire curiosity and increase gross motor skills.

The ceiling plane lifts intermittently, with clerestory windows focusing views up to the treetops and a connection with the sky, both important aspects of child development.

A circulation spine divides administration and service areas from social and play spaces, seamlessly opening out to the nature-based playground.

The fluid expression of the veranda and irregular groupings of columns form a dynamic relationship with the landscape, affirming that this is a fun, child-focused building.