Commissioning authority: London Borough of Islington
Principal designer: DSDHA
Principal contractor: Allenbuild
The new children's centre is set in an inner-city park and combines a nursery, Sure Start centre and café to provide a high-quality community facility which the client, the London Borough of Islington, hopes will be the catalyst for further regeneration.
Islington played a vital role in the success of the scheme by working closely with the design team to ensure its needs and vision were captured. Its commitment, flexibility and input in supporting the inventiveness of the team made all the difference.
The centre's range of uses throughout the week required careful planning and good dialogue with the stakeholders.
Although the budget was limited, the design team managed to incorporate a huge number of innovative and sustainable features.
The vertical garden on one of the walls has already attracted a huge amount of local interest, as have features such as the rainwater recycling for irrigation. Time and effort spent on design details also ensured a lower future operations and maintenance budget.
Thought also went into ensuring that opportunities for vandalism and break-in were minimised – although the team has since been pleasantly surprised by the overwhelming community pride in the facility, which has led to few of these problems arising.
Cleveleys Coast Protection Phase 2
Kaleidoscope, London SE6
For a local authority project of any size consistent with the government's Better Public Building programme. Sponsored by Thomas Telford.