This is an exciting redevelopment of existing buildings and outdoor areas at Roxby Downs Area School (RDAS) to form a large preschool complex providing a 65 place Children’s Centre as well as a Day Care for 120 children- the largest in the South Australia.
The Children’s Centre includes community meeting spaces and Allied Health support services and is located in the former library building at RDAS. A new library has been created within the former Senior Years classroom block and the Seniors will occupy the TAFE building adjacent. The former library building is pyramidal in shape with a raking ceiling soaring to 8m above the floor at the central column. This has presented challenges to bring the scale down suitable for little preschoolers. It is also difficult to make it work acoustically. Sonus Acoustics Engineering has worked closely with us to develop an innovative solution using suspended panels. The dark ceiling hides mechanical services behind the ochre coloured acoustic cloud. Tiny skylight tubes bring columns on light into the children’s activity area where they can track the movement of the sun on the floor through the day and through the seasons. The new full height windows and sliding doors open the previously blank wall to an inviting visa featuring a huge hibiscus tree. This tree with yellow flowers is a holder of memories for generations of Roxby Downs children. The colours were work-shopped thoroughly with the Director and staff, focusing on natural textures and hues, alluding to the semi-arid landscape outside, without mimicry. Commissions have resulted in stunning art work produced by local painters to compliment the atmosphere and character of the spaces
The Long Day Care building adjacent the Children’s Centre was also completely refurbished internally and the claustrophobic outdoor space opened up with new beautifully designed, colourful verandah canopies providing more shade without blocking natural light into the building. The existing verandahs were provided with translucent sheeting to improve the daylighting. Internally removal of walls and corridors has provided additional usable floor area and created a sense of space; generous and inviting. The use of the acoustic panels not only addressed the problematic reverberant noise but helps tie the two buildings together. Use of full height glass and large sliding doors has immediately made a seamless connection to the outdoor activity areas and the enlarged verandah spaces. The use of earthy colours and textures and muted colours has provided a canvas for the richness of children’s work and the furniture.
Wax Design has developed beautiful outdoor learning spaces suited to a range of ages from birth to age 5 across 1500m2 and appropriate for the harsh environment.
Thanks again to our friends and colleagues at Meinhardt who looked after Services and Structural-Civil Engineering design.
We are very proud to have been part of this innovative design process with staff and leadership at RDAS, the Directors of the Preschool, and BHP.