Nubo is an innovative children’s play space that rethinks the childcare typology. Within a unique, beautiful and calm interior, Nubo allows visitors space for games, activities and rooms for imaginative productions, pure play, curious exploration and other physical activity.
Collaborating with PAL Design Architects, we designed a signage and wayfinding system for Nubo’s inaugural Alexandria site, as well as interiors, interactives and signage for its second Chatswood site.
The floor space for the second location was much larger, which allowed a greater scope. We helped formulate the activities required throughout the space, before designing dedicated interior spaces for themed learning to encourage children to engage through play. This included an art space, a room for investigative scientific learning and a theatre designed for presenting productions, yoga as well as other physical activity.
Nubo’s main objective is learning through play with self-directed and self-initiated activities, while differentiating itself from other play spaces by maintaining a clean, calm quality through a clever minimal aesthetic and palette. All elements inserted into the space needed to keep this in mind.
One of the main challenges was to design spaces, signage and activities that catered for toddlers all the way up to 10-year-olds. There was varied physical difference, such as doorways and bathrooms only for kids, and developmental variation such as thinking about the youngest kids who couldn’t read signage. All areas needed to be inclusive and flexible to transform in order to cater for one age group to the next.
The integrated wayfinding system is based on symbols rather than words, making it possible for children to navigate and explore the space independently.
Signage consisting of one-syllable verbs relating to the purpose of each designated space were scattered through the environment to lead children to learn or identify words. Placed at varying heights to accommodate the diverse age groups, these ‘doing’ words reflect the activities and encourage reading.
All materials and products used in the design were chosen to fit seamlessly in with the interior architect’s scheme and be appropriate to the context and environment. The minimal aesthetic and palette are implemented in a durable yet cost-effective way and finished with a high level of care and detail.
All signs are made of serviceable, hard-wearing materials and have integrated illumination.
“Working with the Urbanite team has been an exciting and enriching experience. The outcome is quite stunning, and we have already received incredibly positive feedback from parents and children who have visited.”
Distinction – 2018 AGDA Awards
Category: Spatial – Environmental Design