tom godden architects and matthew crawford architects have completed a high-rise childcare center in perth, australia, that differentiates itself from other facilities by focusing on sophisticated, well-thought design. while in other examples of this typology, walls are usually painted in bright colors, the skyplay north perth school of early learning features off-form concrete and plywood panels, which act as a backdrop for the vibrancy that fills the space – laughing children, colorful toys and playful furniture.

trees grow in this high-rise childcare center, by tom godden + matthew crawford architects



tom godden architects and matthew crawford architects came up with the skyplay concept as a place where children can have the best of both worlds – the opportunity to play in the ‘sky’ as well as on ground level. a double-height ‘studio’ sits at the heart of the building and acts as a home for whole-of-center performances and gatherings. large glass windows internally encourage children to interact with, and learn from, other age groups on different levels. 



a connection to nature is prominent in the design with several trees sensitively incorporated into the building, and outdoor play areas directly adjacent to the indoor spaces, which reduce travel for children and enable staff to supervise them seamlessly. permanently-undercover outdoor areas allow children to play comfortably all year round. externally, the building design is a deceptively simple three-story form that sits alongside an existing 1907 heritage-listed police station.




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: sofia lekka angelopoulou | designboom

  • Ok concept, but not a great execution – artificially creating an outdoor environment is no substitue for the outdoor environment. Why not real trees gapped through the concrete floors, or even simpler, how about real grass rather than astro-turf. It’s a reconstruction of nature, which again adds to the general loss of the connection to nature that children are suffering across the planet. An actual garden with living things is far more engaging for a child than a toy.

    Sam says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

architecture news