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Children`s Activity Centre, Melbourne, Australia

Monday 22 Sep 2008

Containing kids

Peter Bennetts 
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Four shipping containers are transformed into a green Children’s Activity Centre at Skinners Playground in Melbourne, Australia. 

The form and aesthetics were generated by sustainable strategies aimed at zero waste. When the four re-used containers were joined in a staggered arrangement, intimate and public spaces were created for a variety of functions including study, painting, dancing and lounging about. Each container was oriented to produce visual and physical connections to surrounding playground spaces.

Rainwater drains off the containers into a pond and reed bed.

All materials brought to site were durable, recycled, reclaimed, plantation, reused or salvaged from demolition. This included decking, windows, carpet tiles and joinery. The whole container was re-used including doors suspending balconies.

As a process of feedback design, the container off-cuts (with cannibalised super scale graphics) were recycled into the final building. Container off-cuts were re-fashioned into functional balustrades, sun shading and decoration. Timber deck off-cuts became soffit linings.

To create comfort, components of the new building provide self shading of the containers from the summer sun. This includes the staircase, container overhangs, timber decking, off-cut balustrades and off-cut awnings. The skin of the building is padded with insulation and weather seals. Openings are oriented to allow the Port Phillip Bay cool summer breeze to flow through.

This project is a low cost and robust solution to handle the adventures of playing children.

Key Facts

Status Complete
Value 0(m€)
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Phooey Architects

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