Colab Architecture are architects in Melbourne who have completed many community building design projects.


The Richmond crèche and Kindergarten needed to expand their facilities, to meet the demands of the local area. Co-lab Architecture was engaged to workshop the building extension with stakeholders and produce the required grant submission architect drawings. The design solution minimised impact on the existing heritage building and its history as the oldest child care centre in Victoria whilst updating features in line with ESD principles; solar panels, passive solar design and storm water capture. All design features needed to comply with government guidelines for child safety.



As the demand for inner-city child care increases, so does the need to find and design appropriate spaces. Importantly, child care operators must balance cost viability by maximising child placement potential with the parent expectation for quality child care. Co-lab Architecture's team of architects have ensured on this project that the complex government regulations surrounding child care have been adhered to, whilst also maintaining the heritage value of the building.  Multiple design challenges were overcome due to the site restrictions, for instance, including multiple exit points, disability access, adequate sunlight into all child rooms, the correct meterage of indoor/outdoor space in a city-setting and maintaining established trees.


There were two architecture phases to this project, firstly, the Coptic Church and secondly, the Activities building utilised for Sunday school, congregation dining and fundraising. The architectural design for the church wraps around the existing 1950's building currently in a state of disrepair, as shown. The current building has no architectural features sympathetic to the Coptic faith. Research and stakeholder discussion informed the appropriate design language used in the solution, whilst the current building structure has been incorporated, both to save money in construction and act sustainably. The orientation of the space has been re-aligned to run east-west which encourages the congregation to enter on axis with the altar. This is an incredibly sensitive project. Not only for the parish but its neighbours and the local council. Our architects have been able to negotiate a design outcome that all stakeholders have approved.