The St Mary’s Early Learning Centre is a new childcare facility located in the inner-city suburb of Kensington. The building is adjacent to the heritage-listed St Mary’s Church, and will provide additional spaces for the church as well as the new childcare. Being centrally located within the neighbourhood, the new St Mary’s ELC makes a considered contribution to the surrounding built environment.
The design of the building incorporates a generous forecourt facing the main street. This multipurpose outdoor area provides ample gathering space for both the public and the church community and can be converted into a protected outdoor play area for the children while the childcare is in operation. Additional play spaces are located up on the roof terrace, adjacent to the classrooms. Through these gestures, this project furthers our ambition to create meaningfully connected indoor-outdoor spaces for living and learning.
This building takes full advantage of the opportunities presented by the site – the north-facing childcare rooms incorporate ample glazing to catch the winter sun, while the exterior colonnade and proposed planting provides shading from the harsh summer sun. The interiors incorporate movable walls and generously proportioned spaces, allowing for maximum flexibility in the future. The St Mary’s ELC is designed to adapt to the changing conditions of the city.