Located in Officer, in South East Melbourne, and to be located on a Greenfield site of approx. 2990m2, the new Arena Children’s Centre is planned as one of a number of new community facilities being by Cardinia Shire Council. Significant population growth and the arrival of six families per day into the Shire continues to increase the demand for accessible, multi-use and well-designed community child care infrastructure incorporating ESD initiatives.
Architect: CohenLeigh Architects Location: Melbourne, Australia Year: 2017 Project size: 550sqm Site size: 2,990sqm Photography: Tom Blachford
Project description: It can be daunting for children to spend time away from home, particularly for the first time. To help children feel at ease the design focuses on the concept of ‘home’. A playful, vibrant & memorable series of ‘home’ shapes - a theme that carries right through to the interiors.
Located in the growing suburb of Officer in South East Melbourne, this highly popular early learning centre successfully addresses the demand for modern early learning spaces in the growing community while being a colourful & memorable civic piece of architecture.
The colourful glazed brick façade was inspired by the elementary, familiar forms of houses often drawn by children – also referencing the housing shapes of the growing suburb. The design of the internal spaces centres around a sensory & physical progression through the early learning centre’s educational progression using colour themes, and brickwork interplay as tactile elements helping to guide children.
Facilities include two (2) licenced playrooms, maternal child & health facilities, a kitchen, staff areas & amenities. Orientation & layouts of the internal playrooms ensures each room has a strong connection with the outdoor areas for flexible indoor/outdoor activities, harnessing natural light, fresh air and relationship with landscape, while a large outdoor play space provides challenging play options that cater to the varying ages of children who’ll be using it.