settling near the hidden lakes of the cambridge region, in new zealand, collingridge and smith architects (CASA) has introduced the ‘house of wonder’ early learning center. the building has been designed as a series of ‘houses’ connected through gardens and walkways to create a community-focused village.

casa designs a series of barn like forms for an early childcare centre in the countryside setting of cambridge new zealand 1

 

 

fitting within the countryside setting, the arrangement of the classrooms has been broken down by CASA into smaller barn-like forms that are arranged around natural outdoor playscapes and covered timber walkways. providing a warm and inviting environment, with state-of-the-art facilities, bright open plan classrooms, and spacious exterior play areas, the center gives children the opportunity to explore and move freely.

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with a total built area of 630 m2, the building form is made up of a sequence of five traditional gable roofs. the fragmented nature of the building is woven together with external pathways for seamless indoor-outdoor flow. to evoke a modern feel, vertical corrugate and timber cladding is used and the planting of tall pine trees throughout the spaces provides a lush backdrop within the context of cambridge.

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the core philosophy for the house of wonder is that the child’s environment serves as a third teacher. the design seeks to achieve a close connection to nature with large sliding doors and covered timber canopies. the big openings provide passive cooling and fresh air circulation within the interior, natural daylighting further penetrates deep into the spaces reducing the need for artificial lighting. in addition, specially designed art studios are included to accommodate for smaller groups of children to creatively express their art projects and play.

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casa designs a series of barn like forms for an early childcare centre in the countryside setting of cambridge new zealand 5

casa designs a series of barn like forms for an early childcare centre in the countryside setting of cambridge new zealand 6

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casa designs a series of barn like forms for an early childcare centre in the countryside setting of cambridge new zealand 8

casa designs a series of barn like forms for an early childcare centre in the countryside setting of cambridge new zealand 9

casa designs a series of barn like forms for an early childcare centre in the countryside setting of cambridge new zealand 10

casa designs a series of barn like forms for an early childcare centre in the countryside setting of cambridge new zealand 11

casa designs a series of barn like forms for an early childcare centre in the countryside setting of cambridge new zealand 12

 

 

project info:

 

name: house of wonder
architecture office: collingridge and smith architects (CASA)
location: cambridge, new zealand
area: 630m²

 

 

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: myrto katsikopoulou | designboom