Lady Gowrie is a Tasmanian organisation that supports the local community by providing services for children, families and early to middle childhood professionals. This is provided through high quality education and care programs for children, family support services and development training for professionals.
Due to the growth of Lady Gowrie Tasmania, the organisation required a new site to develop an integrated child and family support and training centre. The design proposal is the culmination of a number of workshop sessions with the client in which Cumulus examined a variety of options to develop existing warehouse buildings in South Hobart.
A new three storey building acts as an entry / reception to the centre for clients and visitors. In keeping with Lady Gowrie’s ethos of using natural materials the building has been clad in timber and is designed to reference a series of stacked timber blocks. By placing the blocks in a ‘Jenga’ like arrangement it is hoped that the building will have an element of playfulness appealing to the centre’s primary user – the children – while still fitting comfortably into the existing residential South Hobart context.
Internally, the spaces are designed to enhance the integrated childcare / training aspects of the centre with a large degree of transparency between play spaces, training rooms, and resource areas. This allows passive observation to occur, so that a learning environment is created for both children and the adults alike.