Southbrook Nursery

Morton Wykes Kramer LLP, Northamptonshire, 2011


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Unimpeded view across the nursery  

Charlotte Rosier (website)     Download Original

  • Unimpeded view across the nursery     
  • A refreshing environment is created by overhauling the internal layout     
  • Site plan    
  • Ground floor plan     
  • Section    
  • Elevation    
  • Elevation    
  • The previous toilet block was dominating, unsightly and intimated the young children      
  • Before the alteration the nursery was dark, cluttered and confusing    
  • Analysis of the existing building revealed the need for an open plan design    
  • An island design creates a free flowing movement around the nursery    
  • Walls were reduced to allow staff to supervise the children    
  • Artists impression of the completed alterations    
  • Kitchen island detail    

Refurbishment of a traditional brick and block trussed nursery building from a cluttered and potentially dangerous area into an open plan and inviting educational facility

Tight budgets and spending cuts within education need not constrain architects imagination and ingenuity. Southbrook Infant School approached us asking us to overhaul their nursery building.

The existing layout had received harsh criticism in an OFSTED report and the Principal was concerned by the poor visibility that the building offered staff which placed young children at risk. Working with a budget of just £60,000 Dominic Kramer of Morton Wykes Kramer recalled the work of Aldington and Craig his tutors at university. Aldington had created an open box for a study in a house in Barnstaple. This was what this nursery needed. The closed office, kitchen and other rooms had their walls reduced in height creating secure boxes which staff could look over. The ghastly central toilet block was removed and a wooden island unit with play space replaced it. Together with a fresh coat of paint the nursery was transformed.

Working to a very tight budget and appalled how easily good building materials are throw out in the skip the Architect instructed the Contractor to recycle. In this project everything that was serviceable was reused. Toilets were removed, cleaned and repositioned. Electrical fittings repaired and reused in new locations. The bricks from the reduced walls were built into closing openings and the walls repainted. Where new materials were specified, then materials like NORA rubber flooring was chosen in preference to oil based materials like vinyl and PVC.


  • Begun: Jun 2011
  • Completed: Sep 2011
  • Floor area: 203m2
  • Sector: Education
  • Total cost: £60,000
  • Funding: Daventry District Council
  • Tender date: May 2011
  • Procurement: JCT 05 Minor Works Building Contract MW: Revision 2 2009
  • CO2 Emissions: 14.8kg/m2/year
  • Address: Hawke Road, Southbrook Estate, Daventry, Northamptonshire, NN11 4LJ, United Kingdom

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