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For the Love of Play: Lamdeni Community Learning Centre

Studio Y exemplify the importance that play has on the education of minors through the innovative design of Elsternwick’s new Lamdeni Community Learning Centre.

For the Love of Play: Lamdeni Community Learning Centre


October 1st, 2014


“Play has been approached by several theorists as the first form of learning,” points out Dana Goldberg, interior designer at Studio Y – one of the three collaborators of this project. “It is pivotal for childrens’ development, since they make meaning of their environment through play.”

CH architects (building architecture), Danny Rosenberg of Clemantina (industrial design) and Yaron Kanor of Studio Y (interior design) expand on this theory in a nurturing and positive but also playful way, for the newly developed Lamdeni Community Learning Centre in Elsternwick, Victoria.


The various spaces of the crèche, for age three to thirteen year olds, are a positive interpretation of day care facilities, where everything from custom furniture, joinery items, fixtures, finishes reflect “the building’s purpose, its occupants (children) and its local community”. Without being overly literal or obvious, the motifs and elements such as the custom made tree scattered throughout the communal areas carry symbolic meaning and help to reinforce the design philosophy.




The space is a prime example of the fresh new-generation childcare facilities “innovative, playful and inspiring for children, with certain educational themes,” Goldberg explains – reiterating the opportunities the space affords for the early stages of children education.

Interactive furnishings transport otherwise ordinary rooms into ‘hide and seek’ atmospheres, for example, with vibrant walls decked in felt and peep holes and colour. Not only appealing to the children aesthetically, this sense of play embedded in design promotes “interaction and imagination. A multi-sensory and hands-on experience has been created for all of the children – embracing a love of learning and the quest for knowledge.”


Interestingly, “the interior fit-out is a direct contrast to the local urban street scape surrounding,” explains Goldberg – a point that emphasises the Centre as a positive haven. “The design intent was to create a happy, bright, playful and safe environment,” Goldberg continues.

As joyful as designing for children might be, creating spaces specialised for a certain age group isn’t an easy task – involving hours of laborious research in order to specify the environment’s safety and security and ultimately the development taking three years.



The pioneering interiors certainly echo the central mission strongly: “to provide an environment which nurtures creativity and the love of learning.” The Lamdeni Community Centre speculates a new era of playful daycare facilities.




Y studios

CH architects


Images courtesy of Ashley Feldman

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