World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Australian Minister opens NZ architect designed child centre

Australian Minister opens New Zealand architect designed childcare centre
- NZ architects think like three-year-olds over the ditch



Australian Assistant Minister for Education Hon. Sussan Ley MP opened a New Zealand architect designed childcare centre in Brisbane this week. Heralded as one of the best examples of childcare design in the country by the Minister, the colourful and progressive building for the Mother Duck chain is the work of Context Architects - a New Zealand architectural practice based in Auckland and Christchurch and also operating in Australia and the US.

“The centre is outstanding,” said the Minister Sussan Ley at the opening on Monday. “I’ve visited several hundred centres since becoming first the opposition spokesperson and now the Minister for Childcare in Tony Abbott’s government. This is state-of-the-art. You walk in and you get the feeling that this is going to be a very successful and special place. You’ve designed an incredible building. What stood out to me was the homeliness of it. Everything isn’t little; there are big things too – big chairs, big floorboards - things children see in their own homes. And amount of outdoor space for children to run around is unique in city childcare,” said the Minister.

The new centre in Wynnum, a bayside suburb in Brisbane, opened for business three weeks ago and is already at 70 percent occupancy. On its first public open day, 300 people visited the centre with queues out the door as locals came to see the bold building they had watched taking form over the previous year. Context Architects was chosen by the Mother Duck group for its design concept that put children first, but also enabled the organisation to realise its commercial objectives. “Totally child-centric, our beautiful new flagship centre houses up to 130 children. Its home-like atmosphere gives a sense of belonging to our children and their families,” explained Mother Duck chairman Denis Hinton.

Mother Duck is the second largest provider of childcare and preschool in Queensland with 14 centres across Brisbane. “Context took our values and culture and translated them into an ‘Aussie back yard’ design concept. An extension of the home where the learning spaces extend out from the lounge onto the covered deck and into the backyard, providing the ability for caring surveillance from anywhere on site,” said Denis Hinton.

Located on the south-east corner of Tingal Road and Prospect Street in Wynnum North, on a site previously occupied by a 1980’s Queensland State Preschool, the centre is light and transparent within - so you can see what is happening in every classroom - but it is shielded from the street. “We wrapped the building around the perimeter of the site maximising space, visual protection and security, while inside along ‘Rainbow Street’, each learning space is constructed from enduring and familiar materials including weather boards, board and batten and sash windows,’” explained architect and Context MD Stephen Voyle. “We had a lot of fun designing from a child’s perspective and thinking like three year olds. Our design process is often playful, but never more so than on this project.” added Stephen.

The new centre features an indoor floor-to-ceiling treehouse and vibrant double height entrance atrium with a fishtank reception leading to Rainbow Street - a key component of the design. Rainbow Street is a flexible covered safe play space and a permeable boundary between outside and in. It features colourful individually themed ‘homes’ that adapt to children’s needs throughout the day including calm and restful spaces. The street comes complete with letterboxes and streetlamps and is full of interactive child-height features such as louvers that the children can operate themselves. It opens onto a magical, explorative playground with interesting and daring spaces for children to explore and play including a water park and mini-amphitheatre.

“Childcare is a highly competitive industry. The difference with other businesses is that children are our customers. This sets the standards and the stakes higher. Context’s design means the high quality of care and education at Mother Duck is reflected in this amazing building,” summed up Denis Hinton.

Approximately 70 people attended yesterday’s opening including Ross Vasta MP Federal member for Bonner, and the families of the children who attend the centre.

-ends-

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Ban Condemns Killing Of Former Lesotho Military Commander

United Nations Secretary-General today condemned the killing of Lt. Gen. Maaparankoe Mahao, former Commander of the Lesotho Defence Force, on 25 June, near Maseru. More>>

Ban Welcomes US Supreme Court Ruling On Same-Sex Marriage

Ban welcomes US Supreme Court ruling guaranteeing right to same-sex marriage Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) pride march. Photo: OHCHR/Joseph Smida More>>

UN Agency Welcomes EU Measures On Refugee Arrivals

Afghan refugees in front of the abandoned hotel Captain Elias on Kos Island, Greece, where hundreds of refugees and migrants are waiting for their registration. Photo: UNHCR/J. Akkash More>>

Increase In Voluntary Blood Donors Can Save Millions Of Lives

Increase in voluntary blood donors can save millions of lives, UN health agency says on World Day More>>

Kenya: Funding Shortage Means Food Cut To 500,000 Refugees

Funding shortage forces UN agency to temporarily cut food aid to 500,000 refugees in Kenya More>>

UN Launches Education Appeal In Fight Against Child Labour

12 June 2015 – The United Nations has announced it is marking the 2015 edition of the World Day Against Child Labour with a call for the international community to invest in quality education as a key step in the fight against child employment ... More>>

Pope Francis & UN Agency On Sustainability Of Agriculture

Pope Francis (centre) with delegates to the 39th FAO Conference during a special audience at the Vatican. Photo: FAO More>>

South Sudan: Call For De-Escalation Of In-Country Conflict

Women and children have suffered devastating attacks in South Sudan’s Unity State. Photo: UNICEF/South Sudan/Sebastian Rich More>>

Burundi: Emergency Support To Refugees Fleeing Burundi Crisis

Burundians fleeing pre-election violence rest on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in the Democratic Republic of Congo after a gruelling 22-hour boat journey. More than 100,000 Burundians have fled over the past month, arriving in Tanzania, Rwanda and ... More>>

Afghanistan: Commitment To Advancing Women's Rights

While the outgoing senior United Nations rights official in Afghanistan said she expected the human rights advances made “will be sustained, will not be rolled back, and will not be sacrificed,” she lamented the high level of violence against ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news