Global Future Design Awards 2019
Category: Institutional Building
Firm: Kamermans Architects Ltd
Architect: Frans Kamermans
Country: New Zealand
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Gross floor area: 1068 m2.
Our brief was to design a highly sustainable, low cost building to accommodate three functions:
a Kindergarten for 100 children aged from 6 month to 5 years old.
b Family Centre, providing medical, counselling, adult education, meeting room and other community facilities.
c Headquarters for the Counties Manukau Kindergarten Association, the client.
We chose to express the main functions as three separate single storey pavilions. The Kindergarten and Family Centre pavilions connected by a combined entry lobby. The pavilions are arranged to create outdoor areas each with their own specific function; an entry court facing the street, a large outdoor play area adjacent to the kindergarten and a quiet garden court North of the Family Centre, appropriate for its counselling and medical services. The different age group areas in the kindergarten are a series of interconnected “cull de sacs” removing the need for corridors and allowing children to move between different age group areas while easily supervised by staff.
The relatively long and narrow pavilions have an East-West axis. “People” spaces arranged along the North side with the “service” spaces generally along the South side. Wide eaves to the North and the narrow depth of the pavilions give good passive solar heating and cooling. The pavilions are expressed as simple sculptural volumes that “reach
for the sun”. Rainwater harvesting for toilet flushing and garden irrigation. Sustainable landscaping with predominantly native species and car parks draining into rain gardens. PV panels on the roof provide supplementary power. All sustainable features have been expressed in the architecture to allow them to become part of the educational process.
Large areas of polished concrete floors (needed for Passive Solar performance) and North glazing posed an acoustic challenge, resulting in acoustic materials for all walls and ceilings in the Kindergarten areas creating a very high quality acoustics. The acoustic wall linings double up as display boards. Frameless 2400 x 1200 ceiling panels with recessed light fittings arranged in a checkerboard pattern of green and orange, colours repeated in the built-in cabinetry in all pavilions, resulting in a cheerful interior.