The Bath House Children's Community Centre

Lipton Plant Architects, London, 2015

 

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A multi-purpose facility functioning daily as a nursery, an after-school club and holiday care provision

The project is an extension and refurbishment of the Bath House Children’s Community Centre in Dalston, North London.

The idea revolved around a central tree-like form, an intricate timber structure that connects the ground floor - a now expansive open-plan multi-purpose space - with the top of the tree, a platform which provides an area for quiet play, reading and sleeping.

The concept for the tree, which envelopes the stair and with its many levels and dens on route to the top, was inspired by the tree-house home of the ‘Swiss Family Robinson’ which was an adaption of an early 19th century novel by Johann David Wyss, inspired by the novel Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, a Hackney resident in the 17th century.

The tree-house was assembled on site using timber supplied by a local builder’s merchant, it provides an interactive, stimulating, flexible, playful space that encourages the children to develop in an exciting, creative atmosphere.

The space provokes imaginative play, providing both the possibility for independent play (apparently private inaccessible, yet visually monitored and accessible dens), as well as an open space for physical freedom, movement and physical development.

The tree both represents and encourages protection, adventure, creativity and growth; physically and emotionally. The new users; children, staff and parents, were over-whelmed once the new space was revealed to them on the day of the ‘grand-opening’.

Data

  • Begun: Jul 2015
  • Completed: Sep 2015
  • Floor area: 80m2
  • Sector: Education
  • Total cost: £115,000
  • Procurement: JCT Minor Works with Contractors Design (Mechanical)
  • Address: The Old Warm Baths, 76 Shacklewell Lane, London, E8 2EY, United Kingdom

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