Tambrey Early Childhood Learning Centre
Department of Building Management and Works

Status: Completed
Duration: 2009 to 2010
Construction Value: $6.5M

Supporting the needs of families

MPS Architects, in partnership with the Federal Government and local industry, was commissioned to develop a 120-place childcare centre in the remote Western Australian resource hub of Karratha.

Main goals of the project

  • Develop a facility that could accommodate 120 children from infants up to five years of age.
  • Produce a durable building that could withstand the harsh climate.
  • Maximise value for money whilst considering the wishes and needs of the client and local community.

Address the need for child care support

With its proximity to northwest mining communities, Karratha has seen a population boom in the last decade. This purpose-built facility, located on a public school site, provides a valuable service for the families in the community. The reason for building the centre on the site of the local school was to provide a smooth transition from day care to primary school and to ease the pressure on parents having to drop kids off to different locations.

Sustainable design principles

The centre was designed with passive solar principles in mind. The building’s compact design plan and thermal insulation is perfectly suited to Karratha’s hot and dry climate. In order to lessen ongoing running costs, the design features plenty of natural lighting, reducing reliance on artificial heating and cooling.

Customer-focused outcomes

The Collaborative Discovery phase of this project resulted in identifying several key customer-focused outcomes. These included:

  • Public acceptance.
  • Reduction of life cycle cost.
  • Provides all necessary services in a safe and nurturing environment with space for future expansion.

Each of these outcomes was delivered successfully at the completion of the project.

Complications: a remote location

Karratha is located 1,557 km north of Perth in the resources-rich Pilbara district of Western Australia. Due to its remote location, the building was constructed with ongoing maintenance issues in mind. In order to keep these to a minimum, the centre features a steel frame construction with composite panel exterior cladding on a concrete slab. MPS have found this method of construction to be optimal for regional developments.

The project team

The key personnel involved in this project were Brett Priest (Design and Contract Administration) and Michael Stewart (Design Development & Co-ordination).

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