Copyright Natural Habitats 2016

Innovation and wonder behind childcare centre design

Innovation and wonder behind childcare centre design

Innovation and wonder behind childcare centre design

Landscapes for child care centres is bringing out the child in our design team as we create gardens for a number of centres around the country.

Landscape designer Jacque Regal has been busy creating a kindergarten garden for future astronauts! The Apollo Kindergarten – on the corner of Apollo and Orbit drives in Rosedale, Auckland, has a theme of space adventure which seemed a natural fit.

A rocket playhouse, flying saucer play mound and even a water race with splashdown pond are on the drawing board to make a fun and exciting play space for 3 to 5 year olds to engage their imaginations, says Jacque.

We’ve also been collaborating with Collingridge And Smith Architects (CASA) on the architectural and landscape design of five early-child hood education centres for New Shoots to create a sense of wonder, innovation and fun for their most important customers – under five year olds.

Because children spend a large proportion of their time in the outdoor environment the landscape design is paramount for their learning and development says the co-owner of New Shoots Children’s Centres, Michelle Pratt.

 “The working relationship between CASA and Natural Habitats is well established and seamless, having worked together for over eight years now,” says Michelle. “New Shoots has been fortunate to be a part of this cohesion of architecture and landscape design on our projects where these two teams have been involved together.”

For CASA’s director, Phil Smith, the key element to the interior and exterior design is flow so children can easily and safely move between different spaces.

“The architecture and landscape design complement each other creating an interesting, playful, and homelike experience – all designed to the scale of a child,” says Phil.

Handling up to 125 children, the centres can be quite large – up to 750  sq m inside and 750  sq m outside.”

For Natural Habitats’ senior designer, Mark Read, the design is all about creating a sense of progressive discovery for the children.

“Designing for early child education centres is a unique experience because it’s like we are designing for three clients – under-fives, their parents and their teachers,” says Mark. “Right from the start when we started working alongside award winning architects Collingridge and Smith there was a great synergy of ideas in our designs.”

As New Shoots continues to expand with five new centres being designed around the North Island, the value in the collaboration between CASA and Natural Habitats is evident to the client.

“Both Natural Habitats and CASA know how we work at New Shoots and by having the two teams collaborate this streamlines the process allowing us to focus on operational aspects of the project,” explains Michelle.