John Septimus Roe Anglican Community School - Kindergarten
Tuesday 11 Jun 2013


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The brief from our client John Septimus Roe Anglican Community School in Perth Western Australia was to design a 300 sq m purpose built kindergarten facility for 60 children within their existing campus grounds implementing as many eco-design initiatives as the highly restrictive budget would permit.

The interior spatial brief sought to expand on the core eco principles rooted in the architectural brief to define the desire to create relaxed teaching environments befitting of the pre-school age group utilising materials and finishes that had inherent simple and nurturing quality about them. The primary objective was to bring together passive and active design solutions by using a combination of highly energy efficient components, sustainable materials and finishes in the assembly of the building and interior space.

An engineered timber roof / wall framing system was developed as the primary structural armature to the building founded on a raft concrete slab using a simple rudimentary plan whereby the walls, roof and ceiling elements morph into a perfect marriage of interior space directly expressed and inherent within the geometry of the teaching spaces. All of the primary timber structure is clad in birch Purebond Eco plywood with coloured acoustic tiles being positioned in the higher ceiling coffers provide ideal acoustic attenuation within the spaces. Thermally rated ceiling skylights positioned amidst the coloured ceiling panels flood the teaching spaces from overhead with soft natural light.

The design of puzzle pieces as cabinetry serves as a metaphor expressed in form, provides both a play zone and is used as room dividers to separate the teaching spaces and provide storage within the consoles. The interior quality of the space has references to a Nordic style of design with abundant natural light provided by overhead skylights. The use of birch plywood and the various expressionist cabinetry forms with bursts of colour add to the overall ambiance of the space.

Using a balance between active muted colour tones and natural timber, the overall feeling of the space becomes playful yet invitingly warm and nurturing. The composition is a 99.9 % timber solution with the only piece of structural steel being a single column positioned within the centre of the space. The solution is simple, quick and effective utilising high quality, sustainable materials at a relatively low cost per square metre meeting all aspects of the brief in relation to eco and budget requirements.

Completed in December 2012, the result is an exciting space that creates an environment that promotes learning devoid of any hint of institutional rhetoric. The space conclusively proves once and for all that the concept of Eco or sustainable development doesn’t always have to mean boring and can also mean fun!

Brooking Design Architects