Collins and Turner have been appointed by Guardian Early Learning as architects for the flagship Early Learning Centre at Barangaroo South. The centre is to be constructed within the podium of the T1 commercial tower designed by RSHP and PTW Architects.
The design embraces City of Sydney’s 2005 DCP Controls for childcare in the inner city and is conceived as a space formed around a continuous landscape for play, including over 700m2 of external and internal gardens within the 1400m2 fitout.
Within the design, the spatial constraints of a commercial office tenancy are challenged and a stimulating environment for learning is created by softening and blurring the boundaries of the 3.2m high space with undulating landscape surfaces, and use of mirrored stretch membrane ceilings to give an almost magical illusion of height.
Natural and recycled materials are used throughout, combined with contemporary finishes such as softfall. Extensive planting is incorporated into both external and internal spaces.
A sinuous undulating storage wall separates the garden from individual group areas. The wall contains a range of storage options, windows, doorways, serveries and portals and can be used in a number of different ways to provide utility in the centre.
Construction commenced in Q4 2015.