Client: Heantun Care Housing Association
Howl Associates were commissioned to design a replacement 60 place children’s nursery in Oxley, Wolverhampton, to allow our client to continue to provide high quality childcare in Oxley, whilst also working in conjunction with local schools and the Local Authority to support children with special needs.
A key design philosophy has been to give external expression to the different activity areas within the building. This is achieved principally through the use of timber pods that house various activities and create a playful, creative and welcoming feel to the building. The overall form of the building is given coherence with visually strong and simple pitched roof forms that fold at the eaves to provide external covered play areas.
A key design objective has been to allow children easy access between the inside and outside play areas, which is achieved using glazed doors and screens, an arrangement that also provides good surveillance of the play areas.
Internally, the main activity areas rise from a single store height to a double storey height to create a feeling of airiness and allow high level natural ventilation and lighting of the space. They are deliberately intended to introduce small children to a variety of large spaces beyond the domestic, whilst smaller and more intimate spaces are achieved within the pods.