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Timber Design Awards

KidsFirst Diamond Harbour

Located on the grounds of Diamond Harbour School, Banks Peninsula, sited between the primary school and community garden, this Early Childhood Education (ECE) facility is the first purpose-design for Kidsfirst Kindergartens.

Located on the grounds of Diamond Harbour School, Banks Peninsula, sited between the primary school and community garden, this Early Childhood Education (ECE) facility is the first purpose-design for Kidsfirst Kindergartens.

A focus on integration of sustainable design methodologies is integral to this new ECE model, a design that is to be applied to all new facilities. The predominantly timber clad building is designed with a highly performing thermal envelope, and is partially self-sustaining in terms of energy generation by integrated roof mounted solar collectors and solar hot water.

Expressive of it’s structure, engineered timber portal frames form the main structural solution and cantilevered rafters form a large roof overhang to the north, creating covered outdoor play space. Two profiles of vertical Cedar weatherboards form the main cladding type are stained to encourage natural weathering over time. Along the exterior of a long narrow gallery space two weatherboard profiles of varying depths are used to create a textured rhythm to the facade, mirroring the rafters. Hardwood Garapa window seat elements and decking complement the Cedar cladding.

Internally, natural, honest materials were selected for the children’s learning spaces. Formaldehyde-free plywood and Cedar battens complement the interior colour selections that directly reference the local environment. Composed of engineered timber posts and rafters and lined extensively with plywood and Cedar battens, the gallery space runs the length of the building to the south physically connecting the learning spaces. Built-in joinery including window seating is constructed from plywood and heart Macrocarpa.