The development, jointly funded by Southwark Education and Sure Start, is a building linked to the existing Ann Bernadt Centre in Peckham, comprising a nursery, children’s services, outdoor play areas, community facilities and office accommodation for the Child Support Agency. New and existing facilities are unified by one entrance and seen as a beacon in the community.
The Children’s Centre is set back from the road and a small public forecourt is created between the building and the street. The first and second floors are articulated as a lightweight timber box ‘floating’ over a solid base at the ground floor. The external skin of the first and second floors comprises a mix of horizontal louvres over the windows and rainscreen cladding. The louvres unify the elevation and provide shading to the glazed areas. The entrance is a glazed slot that creates a link to the existing building and brings light into the reception areas.
Outdoor play facilities for the new nursery open to the south to maximise sunlight, and internal spaces have been designed to provide maximum flexibility.