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The Parents Room in the new North Quarter renovation of Canberra Centre aims to be a welcoming and inclusive place for all users, from parents and carers to children, of all genders, identities, and abilities.  Colour is used in sophisticated yet unexpected ways to define zones, while curved elements soften and unify the spaces.

The clients’ aspirations for creating memorable user experiences became a key driver for the playful design outcome. The immersive use of colour enhances both parents and children’s experience. A custom mural, commissioned for the space, was designed by Ms Nikki Butlin and intensifies the depth and spatial drama. The mural provides an engaging motif that, along with complementary hanging mobiles, engage and distract children in the nappy changing area.

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The contrasting colour between the play space and the feeding rooms provides a juxtaposition from the stimulating shopping mall environment.  Enveloped in cool tones and low lighting, the feeding rooms provide a soothing experience for both parent and child.

Curved elements add to the playful atmosphere while unifying the space. A deep plywood arch defines the entry threshold, while arches frame the kitchen, nappy change area and entry to feeding rooms; layered inspiration drawn from set design. Built in play panels framed in abstract shapes take propriety elements and turn them custom.

Along with visually and tactilely interesting spaces, attention was also paid to the functional requirements of the parents’ room, including appropriate placement of changing areas, feeding rooms, and kitchenette facilities.  In addition, material specification and detailing were considered to ensure the space is hardwearing and easy to clean.

The parents room provides a unique and memorable customer experience for both parents and children.  The comfortable, yet reinvigorating space is inclusive and contributes to the convenience, diversity, and depth of experience available at the Canberra Centre.

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