A childcare centre is one of the first environments that children are exposed to outside of their family bubble. Space therefore plays a crucial role in becoming another ‘teacher’, inspiring children to explore and communicate and encouraging collaboration, sharing and friendship. The centre is themed around a woodland setting, in order to introduce the important element of nature from a very early stage of their lives, a design concept that reflects how children should be in contact with nature’s aesthetics and textures on a daily basis. A carefully studied palette of colours and textures, intended to motivate, and support the children, complements soft, easy to maintain and non-slip surfaces that ensure safety and hygiene. The centre is a technology-free environment that only stimulates children through real-life elements and natural references. The site’s former state of a long and narrow street-level garage and store was exploited to express the idea of a journey and experience, through a series of themed and animated spaces that allows for the children’s uninterrupted movement within the space and promotes. The original site’s height of around 4.5 metres allowed us to adapt the volume to create a series of progressive spaces, proportional to children’s height and size. At the back of the site, the entire extent of the facade was opened up and glazed so as to allow for the maximum possible natural light whilst the rear facade was set back to increase the outdoor play area. The glazed transparent facade allows constant interaction between indoor and outdoor space.
This project won the Interior Architecture Award for Commercial or Public Buildings at the prestigious MASP Awards 2020.
Photos by Ramon Portelli