Submitted by

Smith Architects Built Learning Centre For Children With Circular-Shaped Green Roof In New Zealand

teaser1-1--2--3--4--5--6--7--8--9--10--11--12--13--14--15--16--17--18--19--20--21--22--23--24--25--26--27--28--29--30--31--32--33-.jpg Architecture News - Jul 14, 2022 - 11:22   1049 views

New Zealander architecture firm Smith Architects has built an early learning centre with circular-shaped green roof in the heart of Mairangi Bay in Auckland, New Zealand

Named Kakapo Creek Children’s Garden, the 729-square-metre building accommodates up to 100 children in the heart of Mairangi Bay to supper their future education.

Smith Architects built learning centre for children with circular-shaped green roof in New Zealand

The circular-shaped centre is distinguished with its simple layout offering a meeting space in the centre, connecting inside and outside. 

According to the studio, the design takes inspiration from the idea of Nga Hau E Wha, which means the four winds, being symbolic as a meeting place for people from all backgrounds.

Smith Architects built learning centre for children with circular-shaped green roof in New Zealand

Smith Architects gives the building a simple and elegant form, converting it into a circular shape to create a central meeting space. 

The building consists of four main classrooms and art rooms, offices and a planning room for staff - which are all arranged around the central courtyard - as well as a playground and car park outside. 

Smith Architects built learning centre for children with circular-shaped green roof in New Zealand

"The shape of the curve was derived from the shape of the stream which forms the site boundary on the northern side of the building and helps root the building in its place," said Smith Architects.

Smith Architects built learning centre for children with circular-shaped green roof in New Zealand

The studio aimed to connect children and provide larger meeting space and easy circulation throughout the building, for this reason, the four classrooms are fully glazed onto the courtyard which then allows connection between inside and out, and between the rooms themselves.

The elegant form of building is topped off by a glued laminated timber (also known glulam) - a ply roof canopy and green roof, further unifying the spaces beneath, and blending the building into its natural environment.

Smith Architects built learning centre for children with circular-shaped green roof in New Zealand

While providing its natural aesthetic through form and simple material choice, the studio adds other sustainable and well being features to the projects. 

For instance, natural ventilation is provided through the glazed doors and windows - carbon zero. Heating and cooling is provided by electrical heat pump units hidden above the ceiling in bathrooms – cost effective to run and low carbon.

The project incorporates extensive landscaping around the building and on roof with native plants to enhance biodiversity.

Smith Architects built learning centre for children with circular-shaped green roof in New Zealand

By integrating a green roof to the building, it helps to reduce rainwater roof off by over 50 per cent from roof, as the studio explained. 

All rainwater from roof is discharged to the ground below the building, where it is cleaned by bacteria in the soil and gravel filters and eventually filtered back to the stream.

Smith Architects built learning centre for children with circular-shaped green roof in New Zealand

The studio maximizes daylight by using extensive glazing so that artificial lighting is not required in daytime. The architects used low-e glazing to reduce heat loss and roof and wall insulation well over building code minimum. All lighting LED low wattage, so low carbon.

The team placed all services under the raised floor of building for easy access for maintenance or alteration and refurbishment. The studio recycled materials from existing house to complete playground finishes.

Smith Architects built learning centre for children with circular-shaped green roof in New Zealand

"Careful placement of building meant only 3 small trees needed to be removed – new landscaping has provided far more," said the studio.

"Building design unique but adaptable – local residents thought it was a restaurant or bar not childcare, so building could easily be adapted in future if childcare not viable," the office added.

Smith Architects built learning centre for children with circular-shaped green roof in New Zealand

Smith Architects built learning centre for children with circular-shaped green roof in New Zealand

Smith Architects built learning centre for children with circular-shaped green roof in New Zealand

Smith Architects built learning centre for children with circular-shaped green roof in New Zealand

Smith Architects built learning centre for children with circular-shaped green roof in New Zealand

Smith Architects built learning centre for children with circular-shaped green roof in New Zealand

Roof plan

Smith Architects built learning centre for children with circular-shaped green roof in New Zealand

Ground floor plan

Smith Architects built learning centre for children with circular-shaped green roof in New Zealand

Sections

Smith Architects built learning centre for children with circular-shaped green roof in New Zealand

Elevations

Smith Architects built learning centre for children with circular-shaped green roof in New Zealand

Section-detail

Smith Architects built learning centre for children with circular-shaped green roof in New Zealand

Detail drawing

Based in Auckland, Smith Architects, founded by Phil and Tiffany Smith in 2007, is an award-winning international architectural practice focusing on "creating beautiful human spaces that are unique, innovative and sustainable through creativity, refinement, and care."

The office portfolio spans projects in various size and typologies, including educational, residential, interiors, landscape, urban design and commercial. 

Project facts

Project name: Kakapo Creek Children’s Garden

Architects: Smith Architects

Completion Year: 2022

Gross Built Area (m2/ ft2): 729m2

Project Location: Mairangi Bay, Auckland, New Zealand

Program / Use / Building Function: Early Learning Centre

Lead Architects: Phil Smith

Engineer Team: Markplan consulting Ltd

Builder: Auckland Supercity Builders

Furniture: Learning Spaces Global

Resources: Every Educaid

Constructions: Meridian Construction

Playground Design: Tessa Rose Playspace and Landscape Design

All images © Mark Scowen

All drawings © Smith Architects.

> via Smith Architects

glued laminated timber green roof learning centre Smith Architects