This design responds to the Kindergarten’s mantra ‘Better Together’ and builds on a deep philosophy of building a place of inclusivity, a place for everyone no matter your background or abilities. Solomontown Kindergarten is located south of Port Pirie, beyond the main town centre. Having concerns with contamination due to the proximity to the lead smelter, this project presented a challenge to the design and the appropriate balance of encouraging outdoor play and interaction with nature had to be determined, whilst ensuring a level of safety and cleanliness from lead contamination remains. In addition to this, Solomontown Kindergarten has a high attendance of special needs children, requiring a space which better suits their needs.
A key design feature of the outdoor learning space is the fire pit. This is designed so that all paths within the outdoor learning area come together at this one point. This is the point of belonging, a meeting place, a place for sharing, a place for everyone.The path accessibility was important to consider, ensuring all abilities could access this point of belonging. A tower, tunnel and climbing structure were also incorporated to encourage safe climbing, a range of challenge, height and active play, whilst still offering spaces for reprieve and quieter activities.