Nestling into the tree lined fringes of Kristin school’s campus in Albany, Little Doves offers a secluded natural setting for the care and nurture of 75 one to four year olds.
Whilst Kristin’s school role for secondary education is well established and currently expanding, there was a lot of pressure on their pre and primary school offerings from competing private and public providers in the locality. It was felt that this was partly attributable to their facilities for these offerings and so they approached us to create a new early learning centre that would set them apart from the competition and embody the Kristin philosophies of excellence and creativity.
With the intensification of the local area over the 45 years the school has been in operation, we felt Kristin’s uniqueness had to be its park-like setting. We wanted to use this in our concept and really celebrate it, hence the concept of the ‘secret garden’ for the new centre.
Two intersecting walls following the compass points create a cross-like plan, symbolising Kristin’s Christian values whilst also breaking the programme into public, semi public and private areas. These manifest as smaller ‘courtyard’ spaces that create the feeling of more intimate walled gardens.
The buildings key functions are accommodated within these courtyards – the main entrance and car park, a secluded staff administration block, the early childhood classrooms and playground, and a pedestrian entrance garden.