first start nursery

Location: Sheffield
Client: Sheffield City Council
Status: Completed 2005
Budget: £1.8 million

Competition winning CABE sponsored scheme
The brief for the competition that encouraged new approaches to the design of learning spaces for children. As a result, the scheme is organised around an internal ‘street’, a space onto which all classrooms can open up, encouraging interaction between the different age groups and enabling informal activities and play.

Diverse brief requirements
The nursery complex also includes a crèche, café and community accommodation on a site within Firth Park, a historic park in the Shiregreen Parish.

Rich learning environment
The nursery building promotes the child's development by providing a stimulating and varied learning environment both internally and externally. The building uses sustainable, locally-sourced materials. These are all of a robust nature, with simple and refined detailing.

Exemplar nursery
A key feature of the design development process was the close consultation between architect, client (Sheffield City Council) and the other project stakeholders to produce a building which became a showcase for other First Start nurseries constructed across the country.

Chris Henderson
2006 White Rose Award
2006 Civic Trust Commendation
illustrative site plan
the stone gabion base of the building acts as the park boundary wall
interior shared 'street' links to classrooms separated by folding screens
individual classroom windows within the play gardens
the park and its relationship to the road prior to the creation of the nursery along this boundary
clerestory windows provide great daylight, projecting bays connect with garden
joinery detail creates a fun colourful corner of a classroom