The new nursery is located on the existing redundant service yard, to preserve valuable outside play space and give a new face to a school that currently recedes behind shrubs and trees. It is a sequence of rooms organised under one big roof, sloping exactly parallel to the hill it sits on. The plan takes expedient advantage of its constricted site; pushing out to all adjoining spaces.
Whilst the vertical grain at all edges of the building gives a quality of consistency and equivalence in terms of appearance and texture, each facade negotiates a special relationship between the internal and external adjacent spaces at each edge. The large reflecting window out onto Dalmeny Road sits high to prevent direct views into the nursery, but is echoed in a mirror underneath the ceiling to allow children indirect views out into the street.
Improved accessibility is achieved through a series of external ramps of simple concrete asphalt, wide enough to run and play on. The classrooms are extended into the existing trees with timber lean-to conservatories.
Client: London Borough of Islington/CEA@Islington/Tufnell Park School