Located in the ever-evolving Green Square precinct, the Waranara Early Learning Centre provides much needed day care for young residents in the local community. The project involves the adaptive reuse of a heritage-listed outpatients building into a 74 place Early learning space. A complex brief as well as a sensitive client has resulted in a challenging project. Careful attention has been placed on the overall useability of the Centre resulting in a cohesive and robust design bridging old and new. The integrity of the existing building has been retained - breathing new life into the structure – and a contemporary wing housing the entry, playspace and wraparound verandah has been grafted onto the original shell.
This permeable verandah space, designed as an extension of the inside spaces, connects seamlessly to the new central playspace incorporating sensory paths, playful raised veggie gardens, outdoor kitchens and digging patches. Playful openings in the façade and boundary walls promote interaction with the public domain, offering children opportunities for interaction and connection.
This centre has been thoughtfully designed to surprise and delight both its small clients and their carers as well as offer the opportunity to understand the history of the site and its evolution. Existing internal spaces have been adapted to create light-filled open playrooms with existing roof cowls bringing natural light and ventilation into these spaces. Exposed steel trusses - taken from the design of the original Queen Post trusses - highlight the form of the existing building.
Wide openings around the centre lead out onto the generous verandah designed as an extension of the inside spaces. This pivotal space allows for passive play and craft in an outdoor setting whilst still protected from the sometimes harsh Australian climate. A playful seat-wall in the central outdoor playspace provides a separation between age groups, while still promoting interaction with the adjacent areas.
A range of reuse and sustainability measures have been used, including recycling of the existing brick and timber work in the form of internal walling, paving and cladding, passive solar and ventilation design through orientation, hydronic floor heating, heat recovered air conditioning systems, 8kW solar array system, rainwater collection tanks and bicycle storage.
Material Used :
1. Concrete Floor with Dulux Luxafloor Rollcoat
2. Timber floor – Solid American Oak Floorboards
3. Timber decking – salvaged from site and milled
4. Recycled brick paving
5. Recycled brick to match eixsting facebrick wall
6. External timber cladding – Western Red Cedar battens
7. Internal Timber Cladding- Accoya Timber Sheet, Birch plywood lining
8. Concrete Wall external and internal, and ceiling – Class 2C concrete off white
9. Timber ceiling lining – Archipanel perforated plywood ceiling lining - Gunnerson
10. Metal Roof – Aluminium Astro Snap Lock Roof System – Craft metals
11. Gravel Roof – Cowra River Pebbble – Metals in the Raw
12. Ceiling Fans – Haiku - Airaway