Police station becomes play space in Perth with SOEL centre opening
The Schools of Early Learning (SOEL) have opened a new centre in North Perth, which blends old and new, turning an iconic local building – the former North Perth Police Station – into a contemporary childcare space, boasting sky bridges and elevated garden spaces.
The architectural design of the building has attracted international attention,being featured in Designboom magazine. A connection to nature is a big focus of the building, with trees that move through the levels of the centre, and areas designed to maximise indoor and outdoor play.
“We envisaged a multi-story, dynamic learning environment for the North Perth School of Early Learning”, explains architect Tom Godden. “A three story, raw concrete and steel addition to the 1907 North Perth Police Station…all carefully designed for the fundamentals of childcare operation and principles.”
The centre was opened by Member for Perth, John Carey, in August this year, with over 500 people touring the centre during their opening day.
Quantity surveyors were appointed to estimate and monitor costs, and manage tight time frames, cost constraints, and physical challenges posed by site accessibility.
Spaces in the building reflect the SOEL philosophy that children are “neither vessels to be filled nor people whose time must be occupied”, instead seeing children as strong, capable, resilient researchers who are exploring themselves and their environment. SOEL are currently candidates to become an International Bacclaureate® (IB) institution.
Further information is available on SOEL’s website.