The Nightingale Nursery

Client:                         Hackney Education Estates
Main Contractor:        Duffy Construction LTD
Quantity Surveyor:     MDA UK
Services engineer:      Status Design Associate
Planning Supervisor:  Mark Muir

Wider context

The Nightingale (formerly Downs Side Nursery) in Hackney was the first phase of a programme intended to address the problems of what was formerly the lowest achieving primary school the borough.

As a result of OFSTED criticism of Downs Side Primary School, a new nursery unit was constructed to enhance education for pupils under five. A recent inspection had confirmed dramatic educational improvement to the primary school and the creation of this new nursery school has given the children an environment where learning and fun is encouraged.

Designed specifically around the needs of its main user, the Nightingale has an imaginatively designed interior, with a high degree of visual stimulation, such asa tree of knowledge moorland butterfly screen so that children can see through to external woodland space. Constructed with western red cedar cladding, the building is also decorated with brightly coloured motifs on the interior of two clear polycarbonate vision panels for the children benefit.

The entrance way, transitional space and play area are all excellently conceived for their purpose, and clearly enjoyed by he teachers and twenty give nursery-age children  who attend. An initiative which should be welcomes and rewarded. The nightingale offers an environment which is both secure and encouraging in an area that still needs further regeneration.