Collingridge and Smith Architects completed the design and development of Chrysalis Childcare Centre, a modern project in Auckland, New Zealand. The 800 square-meter site which hosts the project is located in a commercial area. Yet common building was restricted due to the presence of two mature protected trees: “For most developers the trees have been a big problem, but for early childhood they provide a beautiful and symbolic solution. One is an English Oak tree, the other a native Pohutakawa, both of equal size and stature, standing side by side, their branches touching at the heart of the site”, explained the architects.

The design of the curving building was inspired by New Zealand’s Maori culture: “In the traditional view, the trees represent Tane who separated Rangi and Papa to create the world (of light). The design draws on this by creating a void or space around the trees, which separates out the various elements of the new centre and provides a protective enclosure around the root zone. The building represents Papa (earth mother) who was locked in a tight embrace with Rangi (sky father), and so the graceful curve of the building appears like two arms reaching out to the sky.” Enjoy the virtual tour and let us know what you think! [Photography courtesy of Collingridge and Smith Architects]