Saunders Architects successfully bid to design a £1m refurbishment and extension to the existing 1950s nursery block on this school site. London Borough of Croydon Council wished to expand the potential capacity of the nursery as well as provide a family support unit for the benefit of the local community in this priority area.
The L-shaped plan minimises the loss of the outdoor play space whilst providing some enclosure to the nursery external play area. It also means that from the common entrance the operational split between the nursery and the family support unit is clear and simple with shared facilities such as reception and the soft play/sensory room at the corner interface.
The extension is sympathetic to the style of the original building whilst also providing more street presence. The stepped flat roof breaks up the mass and creates visual interest at an appropriate scale. This also has the benefit of bringing natural light deep into the plan. The use of cedar cladding and warm rich coloured render softens and gives texture to the building, making it appeal to children. The materials have also been selected for their low maintenance and sustainable credentials.
The exterior of the extension is dominated by an entrance ramp to allow easy access for disabled people and parents with pushchairs. We have turned this into a feature with an oversailing canopy roof and dynamic fin wall encompassing the ramp. At the rear of the building the covered play space has been maximized by the creation of a veranda over a raised decked platform.
Woodside Children's Centre
London Borough of Croydon