Historic Sydney reservoir to become 159-place ECEC service in inner-west
Little Lane Early Learning and Milton Architects will work together to transform an historic reservoir in Sydney’s inner-west into a 159-place early childhood education and care service.
The reservoir, a distinctive feature of the Drummoyne skyline since 1913, is listed on the state heritage register for its technological and historical significance, as well as for its “fine, well-designed Federation Free Classical structure”.
Consisting of a large utilitarian tank which is supported by a colonnaded tank stand in the classical style and a seven-storey concrete tower rising on the southern side, the re-working of the structure will see the adaptive reuse the heritage elements and the construction of a new two-storey building along with three levels of basement car parking.
The ECEC classrooms will be within the reservoir tank, with an outdoor play area and garden on the rooftop. More than 1,700 square meters of unencumbered outdoor play areas will be located across the ground and upper levels, with the centre of the site proposed as a “soft landscaped area” between built forms.
Speaking with The Daily Telegraph, Little Lane owner Shan Kuo said the design is focused on meeting the needs of the children, and supporting them to connect with the local community.
Entry to the childcare centre will be through the ground floor of the reservoir tank where two indoor playrooms will open directly to an outdoor play area along the south-western boundary of the site, with additional play areas to spread across levels three to five.
The project will involve some demolition of heritage spaces, but architect Lucas Stapleton Johnson said that “given the robustness of the overall form and design of the Reservoir, the proposed changes will result in minimal visual impacts and the Reservoir will continue to be clearly understood as a former water reservoir”.