Belmore Adaptive Reuse (under construction)

2018

An adaptive reuse of a light industrial warehouse in Sydney’s suburbs. The project is typical of Sydney’s current retrofitting of infrastructure as our city continues to densify into its suburbs – with substantial high-rise development not far from this large, light-industrial parcel a raft of private and public community amenities are desperately following to provide much needed educational and transport services.

Now a well established type, our early learning centre proposes to remove part of the existing factory’s roof to produce a hidden garden inside the old structure. A series of boldly coloured pavilions ring a central, topographic play area with sandpit, jungle and forest paths providing a wide range of sensorial and developmental play areas for kids between 6 months through to 6 years. The existing timber trusses of the factory are retained throughout to maintain some continuity with an industrial past increasingly being priced-out of Sydney’s inner, and outer-inner suburban rings.

The plan is a series of simple insertions into the existing structure to create an interior facade and continuous veranda/colonnade around a combined central play area. With the roof removed for large parts of the existing warehouse, the new classrooms are themselves like a small collection of individual houses/rooms within the larger volume but also minimise the amount of air-conditioned/sealed spaces, reducing the energy consumption of the centre required so as to only air-condition the classroom volumes locally.