David and Ruth Asper Early Learning Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba
The David and Ruth Asper Early Learning Centre was developed in partnership with the Rady Jewish Community Centre. The non-profit, public daycare accommodates 48 children, from 2 to 12 years in age. It has three areas with 16 children each: a toddler room and two preschool rooms. The early learning centre utilized an existing, vacated Fire Hall located at 1710 Grosvenor Avenue, Winnipeg. Converting the existing structure allowed the retention of approximately 85% of the existing building, ultimately reducing the amount of waste added to the local landfills. Insulation was added to the exterior walls and the existing windows were replaced with triple pane insulated glass units, increasing the overall building efficiency.
The daycare program takes advantage of the north orientation of the building, benefiting from soft diffused sunlight. A fiberglass window frame system, a relatively new and innovative product, infills the existing overhead door openings once used for emergency vehicles. This new fiberglass curtainwall provides superior insulation values along with a comfortable surface for children to both interact with or play near. Large interior glazed partitions allow the natural sunlight to flow between the childcare spaces.
New security systems, including CCTV cameras and card access entrances, provide a safe and secure environment for the children. The landscape design uses a holistic approach, with natural materials and plants specifically selected to provide learning opportunities and to promote interaction with the natural environment.