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Born from the land is a centre that nurtures and delights this small NZ community

Following my previous (not long ago) post - I have some more stunning photographs for you of the recently completed Ngati Hine Childcare centre in Kawakawa, New Zealand. (Thanks to the designer Phil Smith and photographer Simon Devitt)!

I contacted Phil for some advice when I first started researching the architectural environments for early childhood - and he gave me some very good advice:

"the key thing is scale and a balance of intimacy and openness. Things should be designed to the scale of the child rather than the adult, and spaces both inside and out should allow little nooks for children who prefer quiet time. Nature is also a key part - playgrounds should be full of interesting (preferably native) plants and materials...The other thing that gets overlooked is cultural context - kids at this age are sponges and will absorb anything, yet we give them dull lifeless buildings."

Here Phil has achieved just this - balancing a sense of openness with enclosure while providing a community with a place with a unique identity to call their own.


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