Arena Children's Centre


It can be daunting for children to spend time away from home, particularly for the first time.

To help children feel at ease the design focuses on the concept of ‘home’. A playful, vibrant & memorable series of ‘home’ shapes - a theme that carries right through to the interiors.

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Located in the growing suburb of Officer in South East Melbourne, this highly popular early learning centre successfully addresses the demand for modern early learning spaces in the growing community while being a colourful & memorable civic piece of architecture.

Inspiration for the colourful glazed brick façade was inspired by the elementary, familiar forms of houses often drawn by children – also referencing the housing shapes of the growing suburb.

The design of the internal spaces centres around a sensory & physical progression through the early learning centre’s educational progression using colour themes, and brickwork interplay as tactile elements helping to guide children.

Facilities include two (2) licenced playrooms, maternal child & health facilities, a kitchen, staff areas & amenities.

Orientation & layouts of the internal playrooms ensures each room has a strong connection with the outdoor areas for flexible indoor/outdoor activities, harnessing natural light, fresh air and relationship with landscape, while a large outdoor play space provides challenging play options that cater to the varying ages of children who’ll be using it.
Project Completed 2017
Client Cardinia Shire Council
Budget $2.2 Million
Location Officer, Victoria
Photography by: Tom Blachford