Garden Suburb Early Learning Centre is located in a suburb of Newcastle, NSW, Australia. This 94 place childcare centre, was designed to sit comfortably within a residential area, with a street presence that was compatible in scale with the vicinity. The centre caters for 24 children aged 0-2 years, 30 children aged 2 to 3 years and 40 children aged 3-5 years. The centre is divided into 4 components, Admin / Entry, Nursery, Toddler and Preschool.
The buildings are positioned so as to conceal the carparking from the street, as well as enable some mature eucalypt trees to be retained in the playground. Each age group is split into two rooms, which share bathroom, storage, changing facilities. The older children are accommodated at the rear of the block, with ready access to a large playground, the babies are at the front of the block, with direct access to a flat, North facing, purpose designed play area. Disabled access is provided throughout the buildings, and an elevated ramp connects the toddler area to the preschool area, by projecting out over the playground, providing an entertaining runway for children.
The roof forms strike strong horizontal lines and each of the 4 components are set at differing heights, depending on ventilation or daylighting requirements. All rooms have extensive passive ventilation and good winter sun penetration. External shaded areas are provided by extending roof forms in an integrated way. The horizontality of the roof forms create a counterpoint to the mature trees that are visible rising above the buildings. The existing vegetation is also referenced, by the spotted gum cladding on each of the buildings.