The Stockland Treehouse represents industry best practice, combining high quality innovative design, creative use of space, and environmental principles adopted to ensure Treehouse leads the way for childcare centres. Geyer was commissioned to create a safe and nurturing environment that would foster children’s development and offer a caring, educational setting for Stockland families.
A number of design challenges were identified, including investigating the footprint sizes for four childcare operating models, bringing an outdoor feel into the space, minimising the impact of the new structure on the quality of the retail space below and successfully integrating the façade to enhance the existing retail space. The space is entirely indoors, however, the brief required a balance of indoor and outdoor play experiences. 'Outdoor space' was created in a fully enclosed environment utilising the atrium which now floods the area with natural light. A selection of dynamic organic finishes and textures creates an outdoor sensory experience, including a sandpit with water, a playground area with park-like picnic benches, and a rainforest like secret garden. Around the 'outdoor space', rectilinear spaces were rejected in favour of more organic/free-flowing playrooms and corridors, extending to cot rooms, bottle preps, reception, and sign-in areas to instill an overall childlike and fun look and feel for the centre.
Stockland also wanted to treat the new centre as a Green Star space (currently childcare centres are not rated under the Green Star scheme) and to deliver the project using Green Star principles.