Bungawitta (from a local first nations language meaning ‘Place of Little Possums’) is a 50 place child care centre constructed in 1986.
Behind a front door, which is an overblown stylised child's drawing of a house, is a Lilliputian environment where adults appear out of scale. It is child's world, a place where children have a sense of belonging, an environment which they can really intuitively understand and enjoy.
The building was a radical step forward in a design sense as it was the first Child Care Centre to try to provide a sense of emotional security through the architecture of the building, particularly its interior.
The children used the centre intuitively, this is due to the fact that the interior was scaled to suit them – it was their world , not an adults – and they responded as such.
Whereas in a traditional centre, children often find it difficult to leave their parents, here children wanted to run off and explore the wonderful world that opened up before them.
The building won considerable international attention, being included in the first major international publication to focus on the design principles of Child Care Centres / Kindergartens, with examples from different parts of the world.
Australian Institute of Architects (TAS)
Architecture Review (UK)
Kindergarten Architecture, by Mark Dudek Published by Chapman & Hall, UK ISBN: 0-419-19670-6