Purley Oaks Children's Centre

Saunders Architects successfully bid to design a new Children’s Centre on an existing school site with restricted access and a limited budget. The centre provides a one-stop-shop of services for children under five years and their families at the heart of the local community.

​To make the most of the available funding the building was kept intentionally simple: a single storey rectangular block in traditional construction with a pitched roof. Intelligent internal planning maximised space for multi-purpose and flexible use with minimal circulation. Folding sliding partitions internally and to the covered external play area enhanced flexibility and breaks down the barriers between inside and out.

​By avoiding suspended ceilings and opening the spaces up to the roof, an increased sense of light and space was achieved. A large glazed entrance and the use of rooflights has the benefit of bringing natural light deep into the plan. The large roof overhang supported by a feature oak truss provides shelter for external play and solar shading to the interior.

​The use of cedar cladding and coloured render softens and gives texture to the building to appeal to children. The materials have also been selected for their low maintenance and sustainable credentials.



Purley Oaks Children's Centre


South Croydon




Purley Oaks Primary School