The Brook Children’s Centre scheme is a 170m² single storey addition to Brook Community Primary School, sited on the school car park, designed to ensure that the size of the playground was not reduced and improve the link between playground and a new nature garden, designed through a competition for the school children.
The children’s centre's woodland concept takes inspiration from the nature garden and relates to the scale and language of the surrounding trees and boundary wall rather than the adjacent brick buildings. A standardised pattern for the timber cladding panels was developed and the pattern was also repeated at roof level in the canopy, with openings cut to incorporate brightly coloured polycarbonate panels, which create interesting shadows and dappled light shapes similar to a woodland tree canopy.
The scheme is inherently sustainable and re-usable being largely prefabricated off-site. Although this is a permanent building, it could be relcated in the future. The scheme has a a green roof and with 20% renewable energy provided through photovoltaic panels. High insulation levels minimise energy demands, and toilets are flushed by harvested rainwater harvesting.
The Centre was officially opened in December 2010 by the Worshipful Speaker of Hackney Council, Councillor Sally Mulready and the Headteacher of Brook Community Primary School, Rebecca Thomas. Feedback was very positive.