A Team Effort


Sometimes the “next project”comes from the most unexpected circumstances. Kids at playcentre.
This was the case for designer, Michael Manning, who became involved in the development due to his children being members of the playcentre group at the time. “The project was a very enjoyable team effort” says Michael which resulted in a further project with playcentre builder, Grant Richards.

The Red Beach Playcentre, at Whangaparaoa, is a unique organisation in that the families run the centre, on behalf of the North Shore Playcentre association.
Therefore the association and the parents where all my clients during the design and building process. Design by committee is not usually the most enviable situation however in this instance it proved to be enjoyable and constructive.

There was originally an old villa on the property, which was donated and relocated  onto the site in the 1970's. As Red Beach became more popular and the population grew so did the number of families wanting to attend the playcentre. Eventually it was obvious that the existing building was inadequate and a larger purpose built centre was required.

The site had a gentle north slope and an almost true north aspect. The site was contoured to enable the positioning of the building on the south of the site to take maximum advantage of the sunlight for both the indoor and outdoor play areas.

The size of the new building and its various spaces both internally and
externally were governed by both M.O.E and playcentre regulations
based on the number of children and parents expected to use the centre during a session.

Two concepts were presented to the playcentre with two very different styles of building based on the same floor plan. One quite traditional and the other more modern which reflected the beach environment and had a sense of fun. The collective clients chose the latter.

Internally the office, cloakroom, toilets, resource room were placed
along the southern length of the building. This enabled the higher use
areas such as the indoor play area and kitchen to enjoy the northerly
aspect. The high stud combined with generously glazed areas provides excellent indoor light and allows vital visual supervision of the outdoor areas from all aspects of the community area.

Every detail of the building is designed with young children in mind. Interesting innovations such as washable brick surfaces, modified overhead opening doors and concealed drainage provide a very functional benefit and yet enhance the aesthetic values of the building.

In consultation with NZ Steel and Tube the roofing material chosen was corrugated zincalume®  which was draped over longitudinal purlins which were fixed to the curved posi-struts. This construction was cost effective and proved to be easy to apply. The ceiling curves with the roof line and has acoustic tiles and insulation to absorb any noise created by heavy rain.
Likewise the window joinery, at each end of the building, has been
specifically manufactured to follow the curve of the roofline enhancing
the overall feeling of the building.

Michael Manning

Manning Architectural Design provided a full service for the new
playcentre including concept design, resource consent application, car
parking and zoning issues, comprehensive construction drawings and documentation, liaison with various consultants on civil, acoustic and fire issues, tendering, assessing the tenders with the client, awarding the contract and project managing the construction.

Michael Manning says,”It was an enjoyable project to be involved with architecturally particularly as all who were involved, from the
playcentre to the contractors were very enthusiastic. The project was
very much a team effort. It is also satisfying to have been part of providing an enjoyable facility for the families that use the playcentre now and in the future.”

Client: North Shore Playcentre Association

Architectural Designer and Project Manager: Michael Manning,

Manning Architectural Design
Red Beach, Whangaparaoa
Telephone: 09 426 2255
Mobile: 027 280 8689

Main Contractor: Grant Richards
GDR Builders
Telephone: 09 428 1010
Mobile: 027 496 9730

Roofing Manufacturer:
NZ Steel and Tube
Telephone: 09 274 4056
Roofing Profile: Custom Orb

Roofing Contractor:
Rodney Roofing
Scott Riach
Telephone: 07 424 2393