Project Description

Kakapo Creek Children’s Garden, Mairangi Bay

Creating a village-like space that placed community connectivity at the heart of its values was the driving concept for this childcare centre in Mairangi Bay. The centre will cater for up to 100 children, all of whom will learn and play in light, open playrooms that look out onto the surrounding native garden landscape.

The arrangement of classrooms has been key in developing the ‘village’-like atmosphere, with the circular form meaning all playrooms are connected in a central space. This space has been transformed into an internal garden with native cabbage trees, and will be a gathering point for parents, children and staff. The central garden also functions as the primary circulation route, connecting all four classrooms and the reception/entrance area through a covered decked pathway.

Transparency has been an important approach in creating a centre that feels ‘connected’. The building is extensively glazed so that there are visual connections from one playroom to another, as well as out towards the surrounding garden and playground.

A transitional indoor-outdoor space is created with a large deck that connects the internal garden with the playground, but is sheltered by the centres roof to create an all-weather play area.

Many native species such as pohutukawa and cabbage trees frame the site, and have been incorporated in the overall playground design. These trees create a lush, natural landscape from which purpose-built natural play features such as sandpits and water-play areas have been incorporated to encourage sensory-based learning experiences for children.

Sustainable features have been incorporated throughout the centre, including a green roof, a unique feature for a childcare centre, alongside passive solar gain and natural ventilation, to create a healthy, natural environment for children to play in.

Facts + Figures

Client: Kaenan Trust
Location: Mairangi Bay, Auckland, New Zealand

Construction cost: Confidential
Area: 450m²
Programme: Completed 2021

Project Team: Phil Smith, Akash Kumar

Construction by: Meridian Construction
Landscaper: Dave Cowen
Interiors: Meridian Construction