Caulfield Grammar Early Learning Centre
Caulfield Grammar School
Following an initial master planning exercise for its Malvern Campus, the Caulfield Grammar Early Learning Centre (ELC) School Council commissioned Architectus to lead a schematic design of the development of an ELC on a newly acquired site at 385-387 Wattletree Road. We conducted workshops with the Malvern ELC Project Group to determine plans for the indoor learning and community environments and outdoor learning and play spaces.
The Caulfield Grammar Early Learning Centre (ELC) site provides an opportunity to accommodate an exemplary educational environment within a purpose-built home on a dedicated site. The design proposed took advantage of the areas surrounding the building, to promote a healthy, friendly, embracing home that will cultivate and enrich the minds of its very young occupants.
The two levels of basement are set back from the site boundaries, allowing large trees to be planted to achieve a significantly vegetated outlook. North and south facades will be extensively clad with thermally efficient glass recessed and shaded by an extruded overhanging skin, this ‘wrapped and translucent’ form reveals its structural timber and provides privacy to its inhabitants. The structural comprises beams and large columns constructed of timber, combined with concrete slab floors offering thermal and acoustic qualities. A lightweight skin of zinc wraps the roof form, achieving deep overhangs to allow flexible control of light and ventilation.
Extensive efforts were made to enhance the basement with natural light and achieve a safe one-way loop system where families can unload children and help mitigate congestion along Wattletree Road. Bike parking and end of trip facilities are provided together with direct and secure access via lift or stair to the ELC lobby.