leaf-shaped roof tops gaia forest preschool center's structure in new zealand

leaf-shaped roof tops gaia forest preschool center's structure in new zealand

Gaia (Earth) Forest Preschool in Manurewa, New Zealand

 

International architectural practice Smith Architects completes the project of an early childhood learning center in Manurewa, South Auckland. Nestled amongst native New Zealand bush, the preschool facility aims to foster the connection between children and the earth. Operating around a Gaia (Earth) focused philosophy, the concept draws from nature and the environment both in hosting an educational establishment whose main purpose forms under environmental teaching practices, but, also, in applying sustainable building methods and materiality to the structure. Using mainly wood throughout the construction, the building forms a leaf-shaped plan topping it with a similar roof framework.

leaf-shaped roof tops gaia forest preschool center's structure in new zealand
all images by Elevated Media & Tessa Chrisp Photography

 

 

leaf-shaped plan forms a wooden curvy volume

 

The structure shapes curved galleries around the main volume running along the entire exterior. Wooden slabs joined tightly together form the facade and put up the roofed balcony and fence. The construction is supported by large wooden columns and expands into two levels. The preschool facility opens large glazed windows and doors generating direct visual contact between the interior and the natural surroundings of the edifice. Fostering the connection between children and nature, the project emerges from a native New Zealand bush and shapes a leaf formation serving as part of the plantation enclosing it. ‘The design of the center reflects the Earth-focused philosophy by adopting a biophilic form that integrates sustainability and has a light touch on the surrounding environment to ensure children are in a healthy environment and connected to nature’, shares the design team

leaf-shaped roof tops gaia forest preschool center's structure in new zealand
the construction is supported by large wooden columns and expands into two levels

leaf-shaped
the preschool facility opens large glazed windows and doors toward the natural surroundings

leaf-shaped
the structure shapes curved galleries around the main volume running along the entire exterior

gaia-earth-forest-preschool-designboom-1800-2

leaf-shaped roof tops gaia forest preschool center's structure in new zealand
the preschool center follows environmental teaching practices and applies sustainable materiality to the structure

leaf-shaped
the leaf-shaped building emerges from a native New Zealand bush serving as part of the enclosing plantation

gaia-earth-forest-preschool-designboom-1800-3

project info:

 

name: Gaia (Earth) Forest Preschool, Manurewa
designer: Smith Architects | @smitharchitects.co

project team: Phil Smith, Akash Kumar

construction: Keola Ltd
engineer: Markplan Consulting Ltd
lighting: Enhance Light

location: Manurewa, Auckland, New Zealand

photography: Elevated Media – Tessa Chrisp Photography

 

designboom has received this project from our DIY submissions feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: christina vergopoulou | designboom

ARCHITECTURE IN NEW ZEALAND (65)

CHILDREN'S SPACES (109)

ROOFTOP ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN (69)

SCHOOL ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN (642)

SMITH ARCHITECTS LTD (6)

WOOD AND TIMBER ARCHITECTURE (597)

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