2015 National Architecture Awards: Education Commendation

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Camperdown Childcare by CO-AP (Architects).

Camperdown Childcare by CO-AP (Architects). Image: Ross Honeysett

Camperdown Childcare by CO-AP (Architects)
Educational Architecture: National Commendation
Australian Institute of Architects

Jury citation

This project for an eighty-place childcare centre successfully inserts new architecture into a former industrial warehouse in Sydney’s inner west. The architects’ response to the brief has been to cleverly design a series of indoor and outdoor spaces that create the ambience of a domestic neighbourhood. While the inherent qualities of the warehouse have been preserved, large parts of the roof have been removed to create outdoor play spaces. Other sections of the roof have been retained for shade and waterproofing. The internal accommodation requirements have been met through the design of simple and delightful structures that provide a domestic typology and scale suitable for children. Collectively these structures form a playful streetscape and skyline when viewed from the outdoor play area.

Simple materials, a restrained colour palette (avoiding the overuse of primary colours prevalent in early learning centres) and a judicious use of many textures have resulted in a robust and very cost-effective outcome. The architects have taken every opportunity to provide a wonderful learning environment full of choice for children and staff. This project has successfully challenged current risk-averse commercial models and has contributed positively to invigorating an increasingly demanding building typology.

Read the project review by Sing D’Arcy from Artichoke issue 48.

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