Morningside Children's Centre

Client: The Hackney learning Trust
Contract value: £675,000
Completed: 2008

This project is a new-build Children’s Centre within the grounds of Morningside Primary School. The existing site is a triangle bounded by 2.4m high brick walls to the street, behind which the new centre will sit, with an thin roof edge ‘floating’ above a strip of clerestory windows. Within the site, other new elevations are finished in a lightweight timber cladding and full height timber-framed glazed screens, providing a contrast with heavy masonry walls.

Access to the centre is via a gate in the brick wall, leading to a new entrance courtyard and outdoor seating area. From here the front door of the building leads to a central foyer, with long views through the building looking across the playground to the main school building beyond. The centre caters for a mix of uses, with a suites of smaller private rooms and larger multi-use spaces, the latter separable with movable partions to allow for flexibility. New external areas are landscaped to provide a range of play spaces, including a sensory garden and covered play area, and are designed to provide good connection to the existing school infant and nursery play areas.

The building is pre-fabricated timber construction, designed to minimise time, and noise on site, which was part of a fully functioning school site for the duration of the build.