Material selection, method of construction and impact on maintenance costs
The important role of this building is to provide light, healthy spaces for nurturing young persons in clean air and open surroundings – thus introducing future generations at their first steps to a well designed environment formed with benign materials.
Timber was chosen as the primary structure of the building, with the smallest carbon footprint in comparison to other construction products.
Wood buildings also improve air quality, humidity and even the emotional well-being and creative expression of occupants; so wherever possible, timber is exposed rather than covered over.
The majority of structural elements including engineered timber pilasters, roof trusses and wall framing were pre-fabricated, which reduced waste and site construction time – as an additional consequence, materials, components, contractors and tradesmen were all predominantly local.
Small timber seats inserted into exposed engineered timber V-struts at the veranda edge create additional play opportunities.
The colour palette acknowledges the natural timber hues while providing a neutral backdrop to the animation of the colourful furniture, toys and play equipment.
Exterior steel siding and aluminium windows are recessively coloured.
A key decision was the use of a ground concrete floor as a finish, interspersed with areas of carpet for soft activities – these choices were greatly influenced by hygiene and maintenance requirements.
Natural light and ventilation are essential ingredients.
An east-facing translucent roof strip admits diffused light, energising spaces in the mornings while avoiding solar gain in the afternoon.
The deeper western veranda and louvred windows aerate the children’s activity spaces.
A combination of high-level lighting with light coloured surfaces and cabinetry minimises the need for artificial lighting during daytime.
Low-toxicity building materials used throughout include insulation, acoustic ceiling panels and paint finishes.
Shade structures in the garden are planted with natural creepers that will permanently replace the fabric sails over time.
Close collaboration with New Shoots has achieved a level of continuity and integration from inside to outside through the architectural language, structure, and materiality.
The interior furnishings and bespoke furniture designed and assembled by New Shoots add texture and colour, creating a calming and playful space for children to be inspired.