"Where children are, there is the golden age."

"Allow children to be happy in their own way, for what better way will they ever find?"

"There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million."
Walt Streightiff

Living and Learning Family Centres KawakawaOur Work in
New Zealand

In a combined project with Ngati Hine Health, Living and Learning have been involved in the design, construction and set up of a new early childhood centre in Kawakawa.

This is a unique and stunning project that was shortlisted for an international architectural award. Below is an extract from a description of the building by the architect:-

“The word 'Whenua' means both land and placenta and is a fundamental concept in Maori tradition, tying each person to their birthplace through a custom of burying their placenta in the earth. This concept is based on Maori belief that all life is linked and is born from Papatuanuku (earth mother) under the sea - the islands of New Zealand seen as placentas from her womb.

Our design is conceived by shaping the land into a womb-like form, with the building forming like a baby within: the building literally grows out of the swampy land around. In this way, we are able to capture the true 'spirit of the place' and create a design that teaches the children about their own culture in a modern ecologically sound building

Harnessing the natural environment, the design uses natural ventilation and mass to cool, sun to heat and daylight to light it, whilst the grass roof and bank blend seamlessly into the natural ecology”

The building will have an excellent green star rating, showing our belief in the importance of sustainable buildings that have a minimal impact on the environment. There will even be a green roof – with grass on it!

The centre is designed for 100 children over four classrooms.

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