House of Wonder

House of Wonder

Collingridge And Smith Architects
Cambridge, New Zealand | View Map
Project Year
Care Homes

Mark Scowen
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrandProduct Name
Window and Door SytemsAPL
Cedar PanellingHermpac
Tiles Jacobsen
Corrugate ProfileMetalcraft Roofing
Paint Resene

Product Spec Sheet
Window and Door Sytems
by APL
Cedar Panelling
by Hermpac
Corrugate Profile
by Resene

House of Wonder

Collingridge And Smith Architects as Architects

The house of wonder is sited near the hidden lakes of the beautiful Cambridge region, in New Zealand. Accommodating for a group of 90 children, aged 0-6 the early childcare centres provides a warm and inviting environment for our Tamariki, where state-of-the-art facilities, bright open plan classrooms, and spacious outdoor play areas allow children to explore and move freely.


Positioned within the countryside setting, the centre has been designed as a series of ‘houses’ connected through gardens and walkways to create a community-focused village. The arrangement of the classrooms has been broken down into smaller barn-like forms that are arranged around natural outdoor playscapes and covered timber walkways. This is to accommodate the different groups of children, as a way of identifying their hubs as a home base.


With a total built area of 630m2, the building form is made up of a sequence of five traditional gable roofs, the fragmented nature of the building is woven together with external pathways for seamless indoor-outdoor flow. To evoke a modern feel, vertical corrugate and timber cladding is used and the planting of tall pine trees throughout the spaces provides a lush backdrop within the context of Cambridge.


A central philosophy for the House of Wonder is that the child’s environment is the third teacher. A connection to nature and the outdoor is vital, and indoor-outdoor flow is seamless with large sliding doors and covered timber canopies. The large openings provide passive cooling and fresh air circulation within the interior, natural daylighting further penetrates deep into the spaces reducing the need for artificial lighting.


The centre also incorporates the Reggio Emilia philosophy in its curriculum, so specially designed art studios are included to accommodate for smaller groups of children to creatively express their art projects and play.


Material Used :
1. Hermpac – Cedar Panelling
2. Metalcraft Roofing – Corrugate Profile
3. APL Window Solutions – Window and Door Sytems
4. Jacobden Tiling – Tiles 
5. Resene – Paint 

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Project Credits
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