Waranara Early Learning Centre by Fox Johnston has received the Third Award at International Architecture Awards 2018. International Architecture Awards 2018 is the annual Awards hosted by Architecture Podium. After the consecutive success in hosting IAA, Architecture Podium in its Third year had launched IAA 2018 with even more Categories and Awards.
In previous years, Architecture Podium created one of the largest awards in architecture and design with some of the esteemed studios as winners like Aedas, TerreformOne, Rockwell Group, Pepe Gascon Arquitectura, Morphogenesis, Dada & Partners, Nadaaa, XTEN Architecture, Mecanoo, ABIBOO Architecture and many more from across the globe making IAA one of the most successful awards. The mission of the IAA Award and Competition is to provide a fair, ethical and competitive platform for architects and designers and innovators from all design fields with different experience levels, diverse disciplines, and market focus to compete on while providing them a global audience to showcase their success and talents to.
To know more about the IAA 2018 and Architecture Podium visit: International Architecture Awards 2018
The Architect designed both architecture and interiors for this project, which adaptively reuses an existing 1930s disused heritage-listed outpatients’ building as a 74 place early learning space. Located in the Green Square area close to Sydney’s CBD in a rapidly changing, high density inner city area experiencing an influx of young families, the project was the first of its kind and thus an important one for our client, The City of Sydney.
A complex brief, coupled with a heritage building and a sensitive client, meant this was a particularly challenging project. Careful attention has been placed on the overall useability of the Centre resulting in a cohesive and robust design, bridging old and new. The integrity of the existing building has been retained – breathing new life into the structure – and a contemporary wing housing the entry, playspace and wraparound verandah has been grafted onto the original shell.
This permeable verandah space, designed as an extension of the inside spaces, connects seamlessly to the new central playspace incorporating sensory paths, playful raised veggie gardens, outdoor kitchens and digging patches. Playful openings in the façade and boundary walls promote interaction with the public domain, offering children opportunities for interaction and connection.
This centre has been thoughtfully designed to surprise and delight both its small clients and their carers as well as offer the opportunity to understand the history of the site and its evolution. Existing internal spaces have been adapted to create light-filled open playrooms with existing roof cowls bringing natural light and ventilation into these spaces. Exposed steel trusses – taken from the design of the original Queen Post trusses – highlight the form of the existing building.
Wide openings around the centre lead out onto the generous verandah which serves as an extension of the inside spaces. This pivotal space allows for passive play and craft in an outdoor setting whilst still protecting the children from the sometimes harsh Australian climate. A playful seat-wall in the central outdoor playspace provides a separation between age groups, while still promoting interaction with the adjacent areas.
The architect’s sustainable approach to this project is inherent in the design concept. The fabric of the existing 1930s hospital outpatients’ building was retained as much as possible – breathing new life into the structure – and a contemporary wing and wraparound verandah grafted onto the original shell.
Integrated sustainability measures were pivotal in the design process ensuring the longevity and overall running cost of the building over time is reduced. These measures included recycling of the existing brick and timber work in the form of internal walling, paving and cladding, passive solar and ventilation design through orientation, hydronic floor heating, heat recovered air conditioning systems, 8kW solar array system, rainwater collection tanks and bicycle storage.