Key Dates

25 February - Launch Deadline
29 April - Standard Deadline
26 August - Final Deadline
9 September - Judging
16 September - Winners Announced
19 October - Awards Presentation

Image Credit : Rodrigo Vargas




Project Overview

An existing disused petrol station site was proposed to be converted to a 98 place purpose built childcare centre over 3 storeys.

Project Commissioner

Explore & Develop

Project Creator

Nordon Jago Architects


Graham Jago- Nominated Architect
Gyula Toth- Design Director
Ryan Kim - Architectural Assistant
Steven Trang - Architectural Assistant

Project Brief

Closely liaising with the client, the design brief involved addressing their need for a safe environment which also offered the opportunity for children to explore, interact and learn. The childcare needed to have areas that embraced natural light whilst providing shady areas for learning and play. The key aspect of the design was instilling functional efficiency within the space that could aid better supervision of the children, this was achieved by the internal planning of the playrooms that provided large spaces without corners and sections of glazing across wc/nappy change areas all contribute to better supervision.

Project Innovation/Need

The site constraints meant that the design solution had to be a multi-level childcare centre, which was successfully achieved without compromising on the quality and integration of spaces and to the highest standards as visualised by the client. The ultimate use of natural light within the playrooms created an ideal ambiance for the children to interact creatively with others and the environment. The indoor and outdoor play spaces were specially designed to be adaptable. The internal floor plan arrangements demonstrate easy access to facilities, such as bathrooms, cot rooms, sinks and storage cupboards. Internal and external room layouts and strategic location of glazing ensure good visibility and supervision. Extensive landscaped areas within the outdoor play areas create natural environments that are nurturing and foster good health and interaction.

Design Challenge

The biggest design challenge was establishing access to the childcare via Eastern Valley Way which is a major road. The design response proposed shielded the children and staff from any excessive noise. The setbacks required also created a buffer to the road which are landscaped to further soften the appearance of the building to the street. The built form is driven by an existing stormwater easement across the site. The context of the site is within a light industrial setting and was originally a service station. The design response proposed addressed this in the built form with a new discerning yet simple building solution, with elements of transparency that helped reduce the bulk and scale of the building. Ultimately enhancing the qualities of the area including the neighbouring sites and streetscape.


Following the closure of the petrol station, the site was remediated but the soil below ground level was constructed from uncontrolled fill. The design team amended the structural concept to incorporate a pile/pad design which eliminated the need to remove the fill. The result was less truck movements to and from the site which help reduce carbon emission.
Allowing abundant natural light was one of the key requirements for achieving a thriving environment for the children, however large amount of glazing is always accompanied by a challenge for thermal comfort. All glazing throughout the centre is high performance glazing which helps to reduce heating and cooling requirements further reducing carbon emissions. The fixtures and fittings specified were high efficiency…LED, low flow water taps etc.

This award celebrates the design process and product of planning, designing and constructing form, space and ambience that reflect functional, technical, social, and aesthetic considerations. Consideration given for material selection, technology, light and shadow.
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