College Green Nursery School
A London nursery school had cause for celebration at the start of the new school year after opening a brand new extension to house a dedicated art room. College Green Nursery wanted a space that would inspire the imagination of their pupils and at the same time free up space in the main building to create a dedicated lunch area and enrichment zone.
In total there were actually two extensions. One measured just 6.5m2 and was designed to make existing WC and storage spaces work more successfully, while the second larger extension was 52m2 in size and provided a new art room. Both projects were designed by Tamala Anderson with Kirkham Sheidow Architects. Director at the firm Paul Kirkham talked to Premier Hospitality about the origins of the project and the key design features:
“The school were looking for an additional teaching space for art. The existing art area was in the conservatory and insufficient in size, so they wanted to build a purpose made art room as an extension and free up the existing space for other activities.
“We wanted a space that was ‘free-formed’ and imaginative with an internal volume that reflects the external form so that the young children might better understand the relationship between volume and form. The roof form is five-sided with an asymmetrical apex which is clad in the same larch boarding as the walls and this simple clean external shape is also expressed internally. A triangular roof light forms one of the five plains of the roof bringing in valuable daylight and highlighting the asymmetric roof form. The unconventional form took some careful setting out by main contractor GMS Building Services, but they made a superb job.”
“A key design feature of the interior arose from the need for a change in level from the floor of the main building down to the new art room in order to then achieve a level transition out through sliding external doors onto the external space as there is quite a big change in level.
“Rather than just have an inconvenient ramp taking up valuable floor space, Tamala developed a design which used the ramp itself as usable play space, so there is a water trough fed from a clear glass cylinder with a series of tiered compartments where water flows down from one to another alongside the ramp. The children can fill the water trough from a tap in the glass cylinder and stand to access the water play which cascades down from one compartment to another.”
As with any school construction project, work had to be carried out in the summer months for safety and to limit any potential disruption to teaching. As Paul explained, this along with the size of the working space, was the development’s biggest challenge:
“The timescale was certainly a challenge because we were limited by the school holidays. We were able to do a small amount of work before the school broke up but that was all external. We couldn’t break through without interrupting school activities before mid-July.
“A further significant challenge for the contractor was the very limited space around the building. This meant that there was almost no working space or area to store materials, which was especially difficult at foundation stage as there was hardly anywhere to stockpile soil. The excavated material had to be packed into every conceivable corner around the building until the grab lorry came to collect it.”
Despite the short time frame the new room was ready for the school year and feedback so far has been extremely positive.
“The school is delighted with the new space and the design. It is a very bright and interesting space for the children, stimulating the imagination for play activities. The school was also very pleased with the main contractor GMS Building Services Ltd. who developed an excellent working relationship, produced a product of very high standard and worked tirelessly to achieve a top quality build to a very tight schedule.”
RNS Flooring and Tiling
RNS Flooring and Tiling specialise in the installation of all types of flooring surfaces, including solid wood, laminated and engineered wood, sheet vinyl, vinyl tiles, rubber floors, carpets and carpet tiles. The company has been in operation since August 2002 and within this time has been involved in a range of significant projects, including fit-outs for Monsoon and Hobbs for S Clements Shop Fitters; various school refurbishment projects for Brent Council; and a collection of works for G & BV Joinery and GMS.
Most recently, RNS Flooring and Tiling has been involved in the College Green Nursery project with GMS. Working on this scheme, RNS Flooring supplied and fitted vinyl flooring to the project.
Ross Capuzza of RNS Flooring and Tiling, said:
“We valued our involvement on this project as it provided us with the opportunity to continue our working relationship with GMS and Brent Schools.”
“At RNS Flooring and Tiling we pride ourselves on our reliability, our competitive pricing and the quality of our finish. All of our work is always completed on time and to the highest standards.”