This repurposed old restaurant now nurtures new life.

Conifer Grove, Auckland

The Project

A successful collaboration between our Babbage Architects, the client and the contractor brought a tired restaurant building to new life as an appealing fresh, clean and bright childcare centre.

The reuse of most of the existing building envelope, structure and services resulted in a positive commercial outcome for the client with the project coming in under budget and with renewed aesthetics and functionality.

The centre is located in Takanini in Auckland’s southern suburbs, an area which has shown increased population growth with the prospect of an additional 479 housing lots to be developed on nearby Manukau Golf Course. As such the area has an ever increasing need for high quality facilities such as this Lollipops Educare Centre.

Another positive feature is the increase in traffic and people visiting the centre brings additional business to the adjacent retail complex, giving the overall area a boost.

The Design

The overall appearance of the building has been elevated by the addition of the new glass reception pod at the front entrance, transforming the dated, worn façade into a new crisp, modern look. The internal areas have been refreshed with light paint treatments and natural timber joinery to create a warm inviting environment.

The design made use of as much of the existing structure as was practicable to keep the construction costs to a minimum. Existing structures were inspected and strengthened as required to improve seismic restraint. The internal layout was carefully planned to take into consideration the existing service locations reducing the need for new connections, while still keeping the requirements of the facility optimised.

To maximise the space available for playroom areas, a mezzanine floor was created within the ceiling height of the gable roof to provide accommodation for staff facilities. The two western playrooms are divided by a large sliding door so the spaces can be shared for activities and meal times as required.

To balance the outdoor space the design relocated an existing external wall inward by several metres to create additional playground area.
Additionally window and doors are designed to provide natural light and ventilation with each playroom having its own air conditioning unit to provide extra comfort when needed.

Key details


Lollipops Educare Conifer Grove
LEP Group
Conifer Grove, Takanini, Auckland
May 2014
Education and Learning

Project team

Maria Ouzounova
Diana Shang
Structural Engineering
Hamid Masoumi