first start nursery

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

The project was won through a competition sponsored by CABE and the DFES which encouraged a new approach to the design of learning spaces for children. The nursery complex also includes a crèche, café and community accommodation on a site within Firth Park, a historic park in the Shiregreen Parish.

The nursery building promotes the child's development by providing a stimulating and varied learning environment both internally and externally. The design is organised around an internal ‘street’, which can be used for activities and onto which the classrooms open. The building uses sustainable locally sourced materials.

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 is expected to be a showcase for other 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