by Niki Kalms
Landscape Architecture Australia
No. 125, February 2010
The Harbour Family and Children's Centre in Melbourne's Docklands inspired commentary on "the shift back to traditions of playing nature and learning through imagination rather than through a plastic reality" in the February 2010 edition of Landscape Architecture Australia.
The Centre is located on the rooftop of the largest supermarket in the Melbourne Docklands and aims to establish a benchmark in showcasing Lady Gowrie's vision for outdoor play as a fundamental aspect of early childhood development.
The courtyard is a diverse and tactile series of nature-based play spaces that provide a backdrop for the facility's learning programs. Incorporating two sandpits, digging patch, water play zone, kitchen garden and a flexible-use softfall area, the gardens vary in theme to showcase the diversity of the natural world.
This unique learning environment is an important addition to community infrastructure within a fast-growing high-density commercial and residential precinct.—
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