Atawhai Kids Preschool is located in a suburban neighborhood in Atawhai, Nelson and is an inviting and inspiring new home for an existing preschool located nearby. Our client wanted a modern, practical and functional building from which to run their busy, privately-owned centre. They had out grown their existing premises and were after a purpose built space that fit in well with its residential surroundings in terms of both scale and form.
The planning arrangement clearly separates office/staff space from the operational play areas via a warm cedar-lined entry lobby. The different use of spaces is also visually defined through the use of colour. The cedar lining inside extends to the outside continuing the rhythm of the battened surface to the south-east facade. The scale of the building is kept down from the street by low roofs over the utilitarian bathroom and sleep-room spaces. The grooved plywood of the high level cladding behind recedes back with its dark finish further reducing the visual impact to the street.
The separated interior play spaces for toddlers and infants are punctuated by a lower acoustic ceiling over a ‘quiet space’ providing a buffer for both volume and movement. Both play spaces flow through French doors out onto an expansive covered play deck and onto the grassed outdoor playground beyond.
The building provides for the many practical day to day needs of a preschool/daycare while having distinct street presence from the exterior and a playful yet highly functional interior that is visually engaging for pupils and well connected to the outside. The building offers a highly engaging space for the young people of this growing community to start their education.