Montpelier Community Nursery

Boulanger, A. 2012. Montpelier Community Nursery.

TitleMontpelier Community Nursery
CreatorsBoulanger, A.
CollaboratorsManolopoulou, Y.

Montpelier Community Nursery is a small building in Kentish Town, London designed for Camden Community Nurseries. The project has wide reach as a model for participatory design processes in dense urban neighbourhoods. It responds to a number of research questions: How can the design of a small public building serve as an instrument of community building and urban regeneration? What responsible environmental strategies can be incorporated into the design of a nursery? How can natural play be promoted in the design of a nursery? How can the sustainability of a nursery be assured? How can the autobiography of the building be recorded? Boulanger was involved in all stages of the project, generating community awareness, bringing together different parties to participate in its design, fundraising, designing, supervising the building’s construction and recording and disseminating the process. The new building was designed around a flexible space opening onto a wooded outdoor area. Daylight is brought into the building through strip windows located within the roof with a north-south orientation, spanning the floor plan diagonally. Deep overhangs allow passive solar heat gain during times of the year as needed, but block out high summer sun. The superstructure is made of a pre-fabricated solid timber panel system, which facilitated an efficient building sequence. The project was recorded and disseminated through film, photographic documentation and exhibition, a children-focused workshop and a collaborative project of site visits with local primary school children. The building has been widely lauded, receiving a 2013 RIBA London Regional Award, a 2013 RIBA National Award and the 2013 Steven Lawrence Prize, which rewards the best example of a project with a construction budget of less than £1 million. This output will also be returned by Yeoryia Manolopoulou for University College London.

KeywordsCommunity building
participatory design
Year01 Jan 2012
File Access Level
Open (open metadata and files)

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