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Cypress Children’s Centre & Cyprus Junior School Playground


Project Details

£0.5m to £0.99M


Erect Architecture Ltd

Unit 22/B, Regent Studios , 8 Andrews Road , London , E8 4QN

Cypress Infants School is located on a steep hillside surrounded by woodlands. Our brief was to retain the existing unloved nursery building and extend and transform it into a welcoming Children’s Centre that enables the school to offer services for families with children from pregnancy to the age of twelve. The Children’s Centre extension embraces the existing nursery and covered external terraces provide space for fluid inside / outside play. The typology of the existing pitched roof nursery inspired the extension, which was designed as a series of folded roof planes. Pitched roofs give identity and generous heights to rooms of different sizes. The trusses of the existing building are exposed and new rooflights bring daylight into its deep plan. The play terraces open up an area of the school grounds that was previously inaccessible and unused for outdoor learning and play, not only for the children, but for the whole community. School pupils now enjoy a small area of wood and grassland for outdoor learning and play. Here, we designed dens and play installations, which weave between mature trees up and down the existing bank. The design allows many children to play at the same time and during all weather to make the most of their short lunch time breaks. The project won a RIBA Award and was nominated for Brick and 3R Awards. Our client, the headteacher of Cypress Schools, was nominated for the RIBA Client of the Year Award.