New Build Children’s Centre, Radford

Client: Nottingham City Council
Completed: 2008

Budget: £390,000

Allan Joyce Architects were approached by NCC to look at the feasibility of designing a new Children’s Centre for Southwold Primary School in Radford, Nottingham.  The school had been assessed as having surplus external space, which could accommodate a new building to bring a range of services together for children aged 0-5years and their families.  The main focus would be the children’s play area with an associated covered external play area.  Other facilities include a training room, health room and one to one room with an associated office, WC’s and snack kitchen.

We designed a simple framed structure and organised the different rooms to minimise circulation.  The school welcomed the simple design and were able to read the building very quickly.  The rooms were organised depending on their required security levels.  The children’s play space was located to the rear with the more public accessible spaces positioned near the front entrance, adjacent the office, for surveillance.  We used vibrant colours and textures throughout and incorporated child level windows overlooking the covered play area.

The tight timescales for the delivery of the centre steered us to use a timber frame construction.  The building is highly insulated to reduce its energy demands and incorporates high performance windows and doors.  The external walls are clad in Siberian larch with a blue brick splash course for durability.  The roof was clad in standing seam zinc, with large overhangs to shade the rooms in the summer to prevent overheating, but let in winter sun to passively heat the spaces in the cooler months.