Bermondsey Community Nursery occupies the ground floor of a converted former Victorian warehouse, in the heart of Butler’s Wharf. The nursery provides care for local children in a welcoming and safe environment. As the nursery is located on a constrained urban site, we were asked to develop a scheme to maximise the footprint and accommodate an additional 10 children.
The office accommodation is separated from the main nursery in a striking, new stained cedar-clad construction at the main entrance. This building provides a point of arrival for parents and children and frees up valuable internal space in the main nursery. We worked closely with the trustees and staff to find new ways to improve the operational procedures and help maximise space for core activities. To further improve the efficiency of the spaces, the design sought to declutter both internal and external areas through the installation of greater storage spaces and bespoke, multifunctional furniture. Tables can be reconfigured into different geometric patterns to accommodate flexible play and learning activities. Niches, nooks and crannies are embedded into the building fabric for the children to explore and interact with their environment.
A neutral colour palette was selected to create a clean and calm series of spaces, with flashes of colour act to playfully tie building elements together.
Along with colour, areas are defined through texture to stimulate the senses and provide a subtle backdrop for different nursery activities to take place.