Alive Catholic Early Learning Centre

  • area / size 6,082 sqft
  • Completed 2018
  • Location Adelaide, Australia,
  • DesignInc created the welcoming and light-filled space for the Alive Catholic Early Learning Centre in Adelaide, Australia.

    This charming early learning centre, co-located at Holy Family Catholic School, is an adaptive reuse of an existing classroom block that creates a welcoming, light-filled space for pre-schoolers. It now presents large open plan learning areas that are complemented by quiet zones, messy play zones and an outdoor nature play garden. Inviting textural elements combined with selective use of pattern and simple geometric shapes are thoughtful touches, sure to engage the children’s senses. Extensive custom joinery paired with a fresh palette provides ample storage and delightful child-size cubby-holes. The result is a joyful, imaginative environment for learning through play.

    The brief was to transform three existing buildings on the Holy Family Catholic School campus into a new early learning centre.

    The adaptive reuse of the school buildings posed a challenge for creating a cohesive, contemporary environment suitable for early learning. DesignInc utilised the characteristics of each building to create different types of functional learning. The functions are naturally divided across the three buildings. One building is used for administration, and another classroom is the three-year-old’s learning area. The former library, with vaulted ceiling and exposed trusses, contains a learning area for four to five-year-old children. Kitchen activities create the opportunity to integrate cooking into the learning experience in a hands-on manner.

    DesignInc utilised the characteristics of each building to create different types of functional learning. The functions are naturally divided across the three buildings. One building is used for administration, and another classroom is the three-year-old’s learning area. The former library, with vaulted ceiling and exposed trusses, contains a learning area for four to five-year-old children. Kitchen activities create the opportunity to integrate cooking into the learning experience in a hands-on manner.

    The careful consideration of materiality, joinery, colour, acoustics and lighting creates a playful, calm and nurturing environment. The neutral palette of timber, white and charcoal is enlivened with pops of blues and greens which highlight key spaces. Mobile furniture pieces allow every space to be highly flexible and reconfigurable to suit the day’s activities. Larger, open-plan areas for older children cater to group activities and encourage collaboration. Intimate areas for younger children can be partitioned for sleeping or quiet time.

    Design: DesignInc
    Photography: David Sievers