Froebel Carlton is the second Froebel childcare project Silvester Fuller has completed. Building upon the principles of Froebel Play Pods, Froebel Carlton develops its identity to provide Australia’s first vertical Early Learning Centre in an engineered timber (CLT) building. Froebel Carlton is an ‘Early Learning and Wellbeing Centre’ located within the Melbourne Connect precinct in the heart of Carlton. The design seeks to create a collection of diverse spaces defined by a timber latticework super-ceiling supporting a broad range of experiences for children, encouraging curiosity, exploration and growth.
Within the primary play spaces a timber latticework grows from the centre. One object – multiple uses, was the starting point for the interior concept. With a focus on financial and spatial efficiency, the concept explores the consolidation of components addressing multiple qualitative and quantitative brief requirements. This idea manifests as a latticework, branching out as a super-ceiling to define space, acoustically dampen sound and partially conceal building services above. At its base, joinery incorporates seating, display, storage, enclosure and planting whilst serving to divide the larger primary play space into smaller more intimate spaces for focused play.
The design ultimately seeks to create a collection of diverse spaces defined by a timber latticework super-ceiling and supporting a broad range of experiences for children, encouraging curiosity, exploration and growth. The centre is Australia’s first vertical early learning centre located within a hybrid engineered timber (CLT) building and serves as an example typology for the future of early learning in urban environments.