Waratah Wynyard Child and Family Learning Centre
August 25, 2021
The purpose of the Child and Family Learning Centre is to support young Tasmanian children 0-5 years and their parents by providing a building that allows for social interaction, inclusion, builds community and enhances accessibility of services to the local community. It is intended that the centre provides a warm welcoming environment for families to bring their young children to play and connect with other parents, centre staff and any service providers they made need.
The siting of the building aligns with the existing geometry of the road and Primary School creating a dialogue between the two, assisting with the transition to primary school. The southern flank of the building cranks and anchors around an existing stand of eucalypts to take advantage of the view vista to the wetland creek to the south east. The building form is familiar in its domestic scale and materiality, brickwork predominately with natural timber cladding to the interior courtyard areas. Roof lights create larger internal volumes to take advantage of the sun and views to the treetops.
The building is linear in plan with a circulation spine dividing functional and service areas from social and play spaces, which open out to external areas to the north and east taking advantage of the sun and protecting from the wind.
Play is the fundamental theme throughout the building and nature-based playground with elements that challenge, engage, inspire curiosity and increase gross motor skills. Playful awnings and interesting perimeter fencing allude that this is a fun, child focused building. The curved entryway, extended awning and forecourt is a generous space that creates a welcoming and inclusive entry. Bike parking and spaces for school parents to meet and gather have also been included in the design.
The interior spaces are designed to be comfortable, calming, engaging and robust. Passive design principles have been employed and sustainable and local materials have been utilised where possible. Rainwater is collected for toilet flushing and external water play.
The project was a collaborative team effort with the project team, Department of Education and local community members all actively involved throughout the design stages.