Ingle Farm Children’s Centre
Swanbury Penglase Architects
Commendation: Renovation Over $2M
2 Belalie Road Ingle Farm, South Australia 5098 Australia
Department for Education and Child Development, SA
David Russell Photography
The Ingle Farm Kindergarten relocated to the Ingle Farm Primary School. The new Ingle Farm Children’s Centre opened September 2013 and provides facilities for 55 place preschool and 10 place occasional care program. The Centre has separate areas for families and heath with consultation units and education programs.
The Farm Children’s Centre is a well-considered and detailed response to the brief developed for the project via the consultation workshops and embodying a commitment to Reggio Emilia educational design philosophy in its spaces and finishes selections, its external play areas, the interface between the external and internal spaces, whilst integrating community and health components in a meaningful and effective way.
Separate areas for “family and health” consultation and education programs, and “community” based activities including creche, are accessed from a central common public parent foyer and integrated into the “Children’s Centre” facilitating information sharing that result from co-location of children’s services in a single facility.
The physical environment, both internal and external and the interface between the two, are critical elements within the Reggio Emilia philosophy and its application of early learning and childhood development. The internal contemporary structure of the former technical studies centre, provided the background for a concept design which delivered the visually engaging day-lit spaces to support the pedagogy. A large covered external space provided an CEFPI Australasia Ltd 2014 Regional Awards page 18 interface to the well-developed play area which utilized the natural typography to provide a diverse range of exciting and challenging play and learning areas. Careful consideration of acoustics, lighting and integration of services complimented the selection of practical finishes which give prominence to the children’s work and activities.