Heidelberg Childcare & Residences

Education 3,300m2 In progress 2019

Stacked forms led the design for this site with a modern childcare at the front, and two sets of townhouses to the rear, uniquely conceptualised to give them their own identity in the market.

Modern childcare, across multiple levels

Little people and their needs drive this playful design, creating a space for children that enables and enhances their learning, whilst utilising clever design to meet regulatory and planning requirements inherent in this sector.

With places for over a hundred children, the team focused on designing to ensure little inhabitants and the way they would use the space was front and centre. For them to interact with their space through low vantage points, exploratory lines, and enticing layouts, enables both carer and child to build their learning from the best possible environment.

“The team embraced the challenge to create a facility where, as with health and aged care, design can typically be very functional given the complex operational requirements involved.” // Quentin Seik

From the outside, the building presents a refreshing form. With the building core stacked, the top floor acts as a roof and provides critical overhangs for shade and protection from the Melbourne weather. Layering the form around this stacked core enables strategic entry points and multiple opportunities for indoor and outdoor play whilst addressing planning considerations in a thoroughly resolute way.


Vertical living with incredible vistas over Darebin Creek Reserve.

Neighbouring the Heidelberg Childcare project, two sets of residential townhouses take full advantage of views across the green expanse down to the creek. In the middle of the site, the building sees elevated living above the garages, continuing upward to bedrooms then roof terraces, with views across to the creek, above the roofline of the neighbouring building.

The townhouses at the front, overlook the reserve so the design embraces viewpoints out and across this stunning outlook, through extensive use of glazing and generously proportioned balconies. Timber louvres to the rooms at the back, are strategically angled and fixed at 45 degrees provide privacy and aesthetic to the building at the rear.

“Although seperate buildings, the co-location of the childcare at the front and the townhouses behind, offered the opportunity to settle each with the other, designing to embrace yet define their relationship to each other. The stacked forms used across both buildings, horizontally for the childcare, and flipped vertically for the townhouses, prompts a subtle but unquestionable pairing.” // Mark Allan