SkyPlay: North Perth School of Learning / Tom Godden Architects & Matthew Crawford Architects

    <figure>
© Peter Bennetts © Peter Bennetts
  • Builder: EMCO
  • Structural Engineer: Atelier JV
  • Client: Schools of Early Learning
© Peter Bennetts © Peter Bennetts

Text description provided by the architects. The demand for childcare centres in inner-city areas continues to rise and facilities that ignore design, now do so at their own peril.

© Peter Bennetts © Peter Bennetts

Western Australia’s Schools of Early Learning is acutely aware of the need to differentiate themselves from other childcare centres in the area. The family-owned operator has recently completed their new 114 child, high-rise Skyplay North Perth School of Early Learning – one of the few of its kind in the country. Tom Godden Architects and Matthew Crawford Architects wanted to design a sophisticated building for children, unlike others

© Peter Bennetts
© Peter Bennetts
Section AA
© Peter Bennetts
© Peter Bennetts
Ground Floor plan
© Peter Bennetts
© Peter Bennetts
so frequently come across.

© Peter Bennetts © Peter Bennetts

Typical bright painted walls are replaced with natural materials that are hardwearing yet beautiful. Off-form concrete and plywood panels act as a backdrop for the vibrancy that fills the space – laughing children, colourful toys and playful furniture. A connection to nature is prominent in the design with several trees sensitively incorporated into the building.

© Peter Bennetts © Peter Bennetts

The architects’ Skyplay concept is just that – a place where children have the best of both worlds. The opportunity to play in the ‘sky’ as well as on ground level.

Section AA Section AA

Indoor spaces are directly adjacent to outdoor play areas, reducing travel for children and enabling staff to supervise all children seamlessly. Permanently-undercover outdoor areas allow children to play comfortably all year round.

© Peter Bennetts © Peter Bennetts

A double-height ‘studio’ sits at the heart of the building and acts as a home for whole-of-centre performances and gatherings.

© Peter Bennetts © Peter Bennetts

The use of large glass windows internally encourages children to interact with, and learn from, other age groups on different levels.

Ground Floor plan Ground Floor plan

The compact suburban site demanded a different design approach to other childcare centres. Where other facilities retrofit existing homes, the Skyplay North Perth School of Early Learning is a bespoke building designed solely for its purpose.

© Peter Bennetts © Peter Bennetts

Externally, the building design is a deceptively simple three-storey form that sits alongside an existing 1907 heritage-listed Police Station. Tom Godden Architects and Matthew Crawford Architects carefully created a contemporary design respectful of the historic station.

© Peter Bennetts © Peter Bennetts
The Skyplay North Perth School of Early Learning is the fifth centre opened by the operator. The project is a key component of the Schools of Early Learning’s continued development of children following the progressive philosophies of the Municipal Schools of Reggio Emilia, Rudolf Steiner, Maria Montessori and the International Baccalaureate.
  <img src="http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/ArchDaily/~4/oJJ5la7Wczo" height="1" width="1" alt=""/>

Leave a Reply