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Silverstream Kindergarten


Kiln Street, Silverstream

Architecture HDT was engaged by Foodstuffs Properties (Wgtn) Ltd to design a new kindergarten on a brand new site in Silverstream for the Rimutaka Kindergarten Association, in exchange for their old 1940s building a ‘couple of blocks up the road’. Aside from providing Silverstream Kindergarten with a new, purpose built facility that would ensure its long term future; the small community shopping centre would be able to use the existing kindergarten site for expanding its supermarket in an effort to better meet local user needs.

While addressing the need to achieve a cost-effective design for the client, it was critical for Architecture HDT that the kindergarten be provided with dynamic and engaging spaces for teachers and children through the use of colour in order to encourage and facilitate the day to day activities of the kindergarten.

The 365 square-metre kindergarten sits on over 3000 square metres of site in Kiln Street. It provides twice the floor space of the old premises, and, as expressly requested by the kindergarten, provides parking for 33 cars including staff. Construction began in late March 2011 and was ready in early 2012 for an energetic class of ‘kindergarteners’ alongside their parents and teachers.

Exterior view of kindy

The interior is essentially one large flexible space bordered by a series of functional spaces including a staff room, accessible toilet, a sleep room, children’s bathroom and shower/wash facilities, a kitchen, art areas and an office/resource space. The kindergarten incorporates critical design principles in the building such as balanced daylight, passive ventilation; and the specification of robust and cost effective materials in its construction which are made more significant through considered application, detail – and applied colour finishes.

The paint colour selection for the Silverstream Kindergarten was inspired by the idea of providing the building’s users with a neutral (white) canvas with splashes of ‘noise’. A limited palette of ‘child-like’ colours were selected to evoke feelings of ‘playfulness’ – Resene Atlantis, Resene Onepoto and Resene Candy Floss. Colour became central to all aspects of the kindergarten and even helped to organise and define spaces from the very early stages of the design.

Interior view

Against ‘white’ walls, noise is not only provided by paint colour. Consideration was first and foremost given to the ‘noise’ already inherent in a kindergarten environment - the sprawling nature and ad-hoc arrangements of a kindergarten’s learning and play ‘paraphernalia’ – from books and bookshelves, trolleys and tables, pinboards and playhouses, and everything in between. These shifting, changing collections of colours become ordered against walls with purposely selected paint colours and together they contribute to the richness of the space for their users. Walls are finished in Resene SpaceCote Low Sheen for a durable finish designed for wear and tear areas complemented by Resene Lustacryl on trims and joinery.

Interior view

The kindergarten’s outdoor space extends along the building’s eastern edge and also boasts its own dynamic array of ‘kindergarten paraphernalia’. A combination of surfaces and textures from grass to pavers and rubber matting – organised around a large, existing oak tree - provide for different types of activities with trolleys, scooters and ball games. A covered verandah enables outdoor use in wet weather. Painted in Resene Sonyx 101 semi-gloss waterborne paint tinted to Resene Half White Pointer, this ‘light-filled’ element is offset dramatically against a backdrop of colourful fibre-cement panels which in turn, provides a backdrop for outdoor activities.

These colourful panels on the exterior, using the same paint colour palette used inside, are purposeful in their intention to animate the building and pull together interior and exterior spatial qualities. The playfulness of these panels is purposely set off against the ‘permanence’ and ‘restraint’ offered by the brick veneer.

The playfulness of the coloured panels is subtly reflected in the brickwork in specific areas via a ‘stepped pattern’. This effect was achieved through close collaboration between Architect and the Contractor’s team of bricklayers who were excited to investigate the sculptural capabilities of brick and who rose to the challenge of creating a contemporary ‘brick work relief’ that would contribute to the overall feeling of the building.

The Silverstream Kindergarten building is demonstrative of the use of colour as a driver of spatial organisation and as a driver for the inspiration of built detail. Through a combination of attention to space planning, material and paint colour selection, as well as its juxtaposition – a purpose-built facility that provides both teachers and children with an innovative and inspiring space in which to learn and play has been achieved.

Colour swatch
Resene Atlantis
Colour swatch
Resene Onepoto
Colour swatch
Resene Candy Floss
Colour swatch
Resene Half White Pointer

Architectural Specifier: Architecture HDT
Building Contractor: Fletcher Building
Colour Selection: Nadiene McCullough, Architecture HDT
Photographer: Chris Coad, courtesy Jacobsens

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