Longstone Avenue

client: Sure Start Roundwood
location: Brent, London
date: 2007

category: education, feasibility study

One of two projects for Sure Start Roundwood to provide childcare and support services for local parents. The Longstone Avenue project comprises two distinct yet related parts, a 20 place creche for children aged from 0 – 2 yrs, new offices, training room and administration facilities for Sure Start staff.

The layout of the new building responds to its parkland setting by following a line of mature Lime trees to the northern boundary of the site. The buildings cranked form opening up to the expanse of parkland to the south.

By manipulation/folding of the roof plane the massing of the building is increased in scale towards the street and in the areas occupied by adults, and reduced in scale over the creche and towards the park. The external play area is treated as an extension of the interior with glazed doors onto covered external playspace, encouraging free movement between interior and exterior.

The second project occupies a tight, triangular shaped urban site, an extension to an existing 1930’s nursery school with a brief to provide 57 additional childcare places – a combination of full daycare and adapatable spaces for ‘wrap-around’ care such as drop-in, training, support and advice for parents and children. The form of the building adapts to the constraints of the awkward site to fulfil a number of objectives which include maximising natural daylight and ventilation and the provision of safe/protected external play where the ground plane is treated as a continuous surface, to establish an active landscape of which the interior and exterior are equal.