Bungawitta Childcare

Bungawitta (local Aboriginal for ‘Place of Little Possums’) is a 50 place child care centre constructed in 1986.

Behind a front door, which is a overblown stylised childʼs drawing of a house, is a Lilliputian environment where adults appear out of scale. It is childʼs 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 using the centre intuitively related 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.


RAIA Tasmanian Chapter Non-residential Award 1987


Architecture Review (UK)

Kindergarten Architecture, by Mark Dudek Published by Chapman & Hall, UK ISBN: 0-419-19670-6