Cambridge childcare upgrade

Working alongside the Cambridge Childcare Centre, we created an innovative indoor – outdoor area, allowing them to better utilise space in summer and winter.

ClientCambridge Childcare centre
Year completed2010
ServiceFeasibility, Design and Build

Project Description

The objective of the Cambridge Childcare Centre project was to provide feasibility around an extension, then completion of design and build. This provides some indoor-outdoor space that could be closed for winter and opened for summer. A repeat client for us, which allowed us to strengthen that relationship and create them a more flexible environment.

A very restricted site, we developed a design based on ideas from the Childcare Centre, the space they wanted to create, and the money they wanted to spend. They were an excellent client to work with – we both actively contributed ideas to deliver a great project. Any time we went back with an idea that was slightly more expensive, they would see the benefit of the idea and run with it.

Health and safety was challenging, putting precast concrete into a small site whilst kids were still in the existing buildings very close by was something that needed to be closely managed. We had a monthly programme, a weekly programme, and then a daily programme of activities so that both parties knew when things were going to be happening and where we needed people to be.

Coloured, textured precast panels was an idea we brought to the table and one that fitted in well with the design. There were a few technical issues to deal with, but we challenged each other's thinking and delivered a very great building. We even put underfloor heating in so that the kids think they're on the beach. The floor is nice and warm, looks like sand, and that's quite special.