Project Description

The Rainbow Corner Early Learning Centre, Takanini

The design for this Early Learning Centre in Takanini, Auckland, looks to the New Zealand vernacular as a reference point for both form and structure. The centre is split into two ‘house’ like forms which accommodate the centres play rooms and is joined by a central core of services. The gabled roof of the traditional Maori whare is used as inspiration for the form, modernised using glulam portal frames as the main structure of the two ‘houses’.

The simple, functional plan and structure is given character and depth through the extensive use of timber throughout the interior. The glulam portal frame is complemented by New Zealand grown Pinus Radiata plywood paneling, a material chosen for the natural warmth and softness that it gives to interior spaces.

The client wanted to create a centre that provided children with an understanding of sustainable principles. The development of a building that reflected those ideas and incorporates sustainability in day-to-day life was key to aiding the centre’s approach to teaching. The use of timber throughout the building not only adds to the warm and nurturing atmosphere that was desired by the client, but provides children with an environment that uses a sustainable, natural material as the dominant feature of the design.

The inclusion of solar panels, natural ventilation and sunlight provides the children of the Rainbow Corner Early Learning Centre with a centre that not only educates children about sustainability, but provides them with a natural, comfortable environment to learn, play and grow.

Facts + Figures

Client: The Rainbow Corner
Location: Takanini, New Zealand
Construction cost: NZ $1.2 million
Area: 275m²
Programme: Completed 2017