Nursery and Early Years

Sara Waterfield
Director at Lytle Associates Architects

We have considerable experience of the design of nursery, kindergarten and early years facilities, both for schools and private nursery providers.

Our working knowledge of the design guides and specification standards of national nursery providers informs our design process for bespoke school nurseries, while our breadth of experience can add value to the standard nursery blueprint.

We have advised on the production of business plans to support the setting up of new nursery provision in existing prep schools and can prepare quick feasibility studies to review options and assist budget forecasts.

We understand all the regulations, guidance and safety standards as a matter of course, but also believe in creating spaces which are child scaled, inspirational and fun.

Completed projects include:

  • The Oratory Prep School Early Years building
  • Cranmore School nursery
  • University of Surrey nursery
  • Clapham village nursery
  • Kindergarten, Rowan Preparatory School
  • Early Years building, Ripley Court School
  • Bromwells nursery, Clapham

Clapham Village Nursery, Bromells Road

Clapham Village nursery and preschool is one of our most recent commissions from Bright Horizons nursery operators. The flagship building next to Clapham Common involved complete remodelling and redevelopment of a derelict warehouse building to create a nursery and family centre for children from 6 months to 5 years old.

The refurbished building provides home base playrooms for children in each age group, along with studio space for art, drama, music and science. The nursery includes a bespoke children’s cookery room.

For parents the ‘Parent Hub’ provides a lounge, hot desk computer suite and take away meal facility.

Outside space is carefully landscaped to provide an attractive environment for play, sport and gardening.

The building was designed to BREEAM ‘excellent’ environmental standards, including sustainable natural ventilation with roof top wind catchers. A contemporary elevation of the timber cladding and coloured panels creates an informal and playful feel, whilst the natural interiors offer a blank canvas for the children’s activities. Low windowsills and under floor heating ensure all spaces are all extremely child friendly.

The Oratory Preparatory School

The Oratory Preparatory School is a prestigious independent school occupying an extensive campus in south Oxfordshire. Lytle Associates were commissioned to design a bespoke new nursery building to complement their existing kindergarten and Pre-Prep provision.

Lytle Associates worked with the school team to develop a brief for the new building and to support initial options appraisals, business case and marketing before the project was confirmed. The selected site was adjacent to the existing natural play and woodland, so a timber frame woodland cabin aesthetic was developed, using an L shaped plan to enclose a secure play courtyard for the nursery children to enjoy. The location on the route from the main car park also positions to the new facility as a ‘gateway’ to the main prep school campus.

The design included vaulted ceilings to play areas to create a feeling of space and light, a dedicated relaxation/sleep room, activity spaces, child scale fittings and details and a full length canopy to create an all weather outside play area directly linked to each classroom with large folding glass doors.

University of Surrey – Campus Kids Nursery

Lytle Associates delivered a full project management service for the provision of a new workplace nursery for staff and students at the University of Surrey. The initial Viability Study included surveys to identify demand, market analysis, advice on optimum size, location and operating model as well as a comprehensive business case.

The fast track programme led to the choice of a modular building solution, for which Lytle Associates handled the brief, consents, procurement and delivery. Alongside this we arranged a tender for nursery operators and worked with the University of Surrey team to appoint a partner to run the new nursery.

The building was fully customised to meet the needs of the children from 6 months to 5 years, including baby, toddler and pre-school play rooms with all associated support areas, car park and a landscaped nursery garden.

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