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Crest Children's Sanctuary

Early Learning Centre

project type: Education

location: Rowville, Melbourne, Australia

​area: 600 sqm.

​client: Molkat Investments

status: Completed 2016

Project Description


This project has been developed and inspired by the idea of the early leaning centre and its role and responsibility within the community, extending beyond the function of a traditional family daycare centre.  The idea that the architecture itself can contribute to the growth and development of a child, not just providing shelter and containing program, was identified as a principal component of the design brief.


The developer selected this site as it naturally contained characteristics that are supportive of an early learning centre.  As evidenced by the site analysis, the location is well serviced by public transport, bicycle and by foot with connections to nearby residential neighborhoods, schools and other complimentary community facilities. 


However, the dominant feature of this site is the existing Fire Station building.  The decision to retain this building makes sense for a variety of reasons, not least of all for the economic and sustainable benefit of reusing an existing building.


The challenge is not just to reuse this building but re-purpose it to fulfill its fundamental responsibility of providing a space for early learning. 


Our solution is to propose several architectural strategies that can allow this building to retain its iconic status of a fire station while provide spaces that are fun, imaginative, functional and engaging. 


These key architectural strategies comprise: building retention and reuse; public façade; pitched roofs; folded canopies; building scale and nature based play.



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