The Melbourne Central Parents’ Retreat is a luxuriously appointed public facility that provides a welcoming and playful space for families.
The brief called for three key zones: a wet area for toileting/baby change; a feeding/play area; and a retreat lounge as a waiting or alternative feeding area. While the project required a highly practical solution, ensuring children’s safety, adequate sight lines, and low-maintenance wet areas, for example, the emphasis is on peace and play. This is not a utility space, which is used and then left; rather, it encourages people to linger, children to play and parents to recharge.
Key to the concept was the aim to preference local suppliers, and to use low-tech and sustainable materials, with bespoke play equipment unique to the project. A vibrant colour palette delineates and connects zones for easy navigation, while the custom-designed play equipment entices children to engage with the space physically.
Clare Cousins, Dita Beluli, Renae Brown, Catherine Parkinson, Tara Ward