Situated within the magnificent context of Tauranga, is the newly designed New Shoots early childhood learning centre by CASA (Collingridge and Smith Architects). With the passion of delivering beautiful purpose-built human spaces, the architectural proposition uses sustainable design strategies to provide children with a nurturing and healthy learning environment, promoting growth and exploration. The core vision of the architecture was to reflect the city’s relationship with the sea, while framing the significant nature of Mount Manganui.
Located within the fastest growing neighbourhood of Bayfair in Tauranga. The New Shoots early childhood centre accommodates for children ranging from infants to preschool, the project facilitates for a mixed range of shared services and activity spaces, providing healthy and inspiring spaces to motivate creative young minds.
The visible gesture of the wave-like canopy is inspired by Tauranga’s two most sought-after beach fronts. The canopy runs along the side of the centre up to the high ceilings allowing an abundance of the natural Mount Maunganui sunshine.
The project employed a subtle and natural material palette which consists of external cedar timber cladding styled with aluminium joinery, and the striking canopy structure is constructed from translucent polycarbonate, to minimize excess heat and glare from natural sunlight. The choice of simplistic materiality, allowed the building form and spirit to sit cohesively within the surrounding context, setting a warm and comforting tone, while attracting much visual appeal.
The balanced blend of environmental sustainability and aesthetics enhances the general functionality and performance of the learning centre. The centre is orientated to receive the natural daylight, minimizing the need of artificial lighting. Passive ventilation methods are implemented within the internal spaces, and low VOC paints have been used to main good indoor air quality.
Internally, the planning is spacious allowing seamless flow into other sizeable zones. The indoor experience of a child’s play is enhanced with floor-to-ceiling windows, to visually connect children with the outdoor environment, further increasing their overall productivity. During summer, overheating can be prevented, as the extensively glazed portions of the building can be opened up to provide passive cooling and fresh air through natural ventilation well above the minimum requirements. This allows natural sunlight to penetrate within the interior setting.
The luscious outdoor area includes nature-inspired play for children, connecting them to the surrounding context of beach and bush.