The Rainbow Corner Early Learning Centre, Takanini - Smith Architects | ArchiPro

The Rainbow Corner Early Learning Centre, Takanini

The design for this Early Learning Centre in Takanini, Auckland, looks to the New Zealand vernacular as a reference point for both form and structure, as a way of ensuring the building is sensitive to the surrounding built environment. The building is split into two ‘house’ like forms which accommodate the centres play rooms and is joined by a central core of services. The gabled roof of the traditional Maori whare is used as inspiration for the form, modernised using glulam portal frames as the main structure of the two houses.

The simple, functional plan and structure is given character and depth through the extensive use of timber throughout the interior. The glulam portal frame is complemented by New Zealand grown Pinus Radiata plywood panelling, a material chosen for the natural warmth and softness that it gives to interior spaces.

The development of a building that utilised sustainable building processes and incorporated sustainability in day-today-life was key to aiding to centres approach to teaching. Timber was the obvious choice for construction, for its ability to create a warm and nurturing atmosphere, whilst being an inherently sustainable resource. The addition of solar panels, rain-water harvesting, natural ventilation and generous amounts of natural daylight provides the children of the Rainbow Corner Early Learning Centre with a centre that is not only focussed on sustainability as a core value, but provides them with a natural, comfortable place to learn play and grow.

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