Walters & Cohen won the competition to design a nursery in east London in 2003. Eighteen practices were invited to participate in the competition, the final selection involved local parents, staff, and board members from The Learning Trust, Hackney’s education provider.
The Sebright Centre occupies the site of the previous ‘One o’clock Club’, established in the 1970s, which was too small and in urgent need of refurbishment. The brief was to design a new children’s centre to provide a central resource for integrated family support, childcare, early education and health provision. The location and design of the building ensures that the centre is accessible to parents from all parts of the catchment area and is welcoming to families from diverse cultural backgrounds.
The new centre is an elegant two-storey building located alongside an avenue of mature lime trees. The building incorporates panels of brightly coloured render with large glazed openings overlooking Haggerston Park and the playground. The childcare session area, health and community facilities are located on the ground floor, minimising disruption to the 45-place full day care area on the first floor. The first floor has access to a bright external play deck with a mixture of covered and open areas, allowing the children to experience a variety of external playing conditions.
The building was completed on time and on budget.