Designing a nursery and exploring acoustics for a village school
TAS Architects has been working on a sketch design for a new nursery and multi-use space in the grounds of a village school. The school is lucky to benefit from a forest school area, ecological pond and running track, which are all important elements to consider in the design development.
We were asked to create a design for a nursery to accommodate 20 children, with the potential to increase this to 30 children over time. Initially children would all be aged three or over, with the option to bring in younger children. All this needs to be considered early when designing a nursery, as the space and facilities required by the Early Year’s Foundation and Ofsted differ slightly for each age group.
As well as the main nursery area, the proposals need to include a small office for use by the rest of the school as well as the nursery. Ideally the building will also include a reading area, to potentially act as an extension for younger children to the school library situated in the main school building.
This is a really exciting project for TAS, as it gives us the opportunity to further explore architecture for educational purposes, as well as specific areas of interest around acoustic design. Children’s learning and ability to focus can be hugely affected if the acoustic and ergonomic environments are not considered at an early stage. Fully understanding the day-to-day and hour-to-hour activities is an important part of this. There’s often no better way to realise that than to experience it first hand, which we have been privileged to be able to do recently. We’re developing ideas about how to create an intimate, yet open, space that children feel is both safe and inspiring.
Space fluidity is important in a nursery setting, to enable the children to move freely from one area to another during structured or unstructured play. We are inspired by the village setting, which is very green, and are looking to design a structure that seamlessly links the internal and external play areas.
As always, we’re looking to keep sustainability in mind and to create a building that will work for the school in the long term.