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Port Chalmers Kindergarten

Otago Design and Build / ECI

Building for kids and the community

The old building was demolished to make way for the bright and bespoke new building designed and built by Cook Brothers Construction. Delivered on time and to budget, this outstanding facility features large and open spaces for little learners, and signature features such as a porthole window to represent the community focus on sea-based activity.

The kindergarten operation had to be relocated during construction and building the new facility up to ministry standard while not wasting valuable budget was key. Strict programme dates were hit, as well as the tight budget to work within set by the client. The Cook Brothers Construction team took the opportunity and achieved far greater design detail within the allocated budget. The use of floating ‘clouds’ to provide acoustic treatment to a large and busy space was an innovative solution. Wrapped in soft materials this low-cost option preforms well and sticks to budget constraints while providing shape and function.

Port Chalmers is a tight community and where possible local subcontractors were involved in the build. The project was steered by a PCG including teachers and PTA members. Consideration was given to their ideas and requests, and as a result, the project flowed from start to finish, leading to repeat work with the same client on another site. Children and families were invited to be part of the development through design input and mini-projects throughout the build. The extended site also had some emotional significance through the relocation of memorial trees within the site as they were in memory of fallen community members for the Aromoana tragedy of 1990.