Sydney – In recent years, fit-outs in Australia have laboured under a Scandinavian sky. Blonde woods reign underfoot in rooms adorned with furniture by mid-century Danish designers and their modern counterparts. To the relief of parents, the recreational market aimed at kids is noting the appeal of the Northern European aesthetic.
Nubo, a play space for children up to the age of ten in Sydney’s Alexandria, utilizes key Scandi design ideologies – functionalism and simplicity – to deliver a calm yet immersive environment for inquisitive minds to explore. It represents the first of its kind in the country.
No rainbow appears to have exploded within, splattering primary colours upon walls, plastic furnishings and toys. Quite the contrary: Nubo’s neutral palette – oak flooring paired with soft bouncy rubber inlays, custom-designed wooden furniture and playing apparatuses – (literally) elevates the atmosphere of the multi-tiered warehouse space.
Conceptual cloud motifs floating overhead are echoed in the contoured edges of partitions, while a giant hot-air balloon, whichfunctions as a reading pod, hovers above the curved library area.
We were inspired by the notion of cloud gazing, where minds are free to interpret what they see
Frost*collective and its associated divisions developed a strategy, identity and branded collateral for the Platine Group, predominantly a property-development company. ‘We were inspired by the notion of cloud gazing, where minds are free to interpret what they see,’ said Frost*Design’s Max Delplanque of the idea behind Nubo, whose name means ‘cloud’ in Esperanto.
Hong Kong’s Pal Design Group treated Frost*collective’s request for a venue that would ‘exercise the imagination’ with seamless perspicuity. ‘It’s very much a place for children to experience pure play,’ explained Delplanque, noting the absence of distracting digital devices and Nubo’s wooden-toys-only policy (with the exception of an immersive blue ball pit and a rubber-block-building room).