Our Place Early Learning Centre
Architect: Perkins Architects
Builder: ADMA Group
Fabricator: MRI Aluminium Windows
About the project
The vibrant colours and spaces featured in the Our Place Early Learning Centre, located in the Melbourne suburb of Elsternwick, showcases a range of Capral products used in its construction. With an innovative series of open areas promoting imaginative play, the windows play a central role in knitting together these dynamic spaces into a welcoming whole.
The early learning centre designed by Perkins Architects can accommodate 108 children on two levels, incorporating six different play areas. All playrooms connect to outdoor play areas that offer both undercover and open-to-the-sky play spaces, where the children can engage in various activities.
The design brief was to create a nurturing and safe environment where the children can participate in both structured and freeform play and learning.
The colour scheme and materials are based on the natural environment, with splashes of vibrant colour creating a stimulating contrast to the natural colour palette.
Large expanses of glazing allow for light-filled playrooms as well as the ease in supervision of the children by staff, ensuring the children’s safety.
Effie Bakkalis, Administration Manager at MRI Windows, offers an interesting perspective on the Capral products used in this project. ‘We pride ourselves on using Australian materials wherever possible, so Capral is a great fit,’ she says. ‘We’ve long had a long-standing relationship with them, and Capral is installed throughout Our Place Early Learning Centre.’
Keeping the bulk of the work and sourcing materials from local manufacturers was a key priority on this project. ‘The engineering is all-Australian, and the powder coating is done in Australia as well,’ Effie confirms. ‘Capral’s technical support on each of our projects is extremely helpful, which is why we consistently choose to work with them.’
Capral’s 400 and 300 Narrowline Series sliding doors used in the construction play a major role. Flanking the building’s exterior, they were tasked with securely sealing off the interior while offering a visual reminder of the surrounding natural world.
With energetic children moving frequently between each section of the building, the AGS225 Series sliding doors had to be durable above all. Capral’s high-quality mechanism made their sliding doors ideal for visually uniting two adjacent areas that often had to be kept separate. Seamless flexibility was key, a quality which Capral definitively provided.
Two types of glazing were used in the building’s extensive windows – laminated single-glazed and low-E toughened single-glazed. The toughened areas were vital in a building with a range of self-contained glazed areas, immersing the inhabitants in its expansive and flexible feel. Given children’s innate curiosity about each aspect of the building, the window suites had to offer clear sightlines for curious young gazes.
The clean lines of Capral’s suites also proved the ideal companion for the vibrant laminated motif running across the glazing’s exterior, visually uniting the space and denoting it as a place of education, exploration and discovery.
With such extensive window areas, the building employs a wide range of specialised Capral products. Incorporating fixed, sashless and corner windows, the structure maximises the level of sunlight reaching the building’s interior – an essential reflection of light’s pivotal role in children’s health and wellbeing.
Capral’s balustrades, manufactured in Low-E toughened single-glazed, provide the ideal mix of safety, transparency, and environmental performance – crucial features for growing young minds.
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