A colourful nursery in Shepherd’s Bush, London that combines stimulating educational environments with environmentally-conscious design. The new spaces at the Two Hands Preschool are a mixture of robust materials for everyday use and warm interiors that reflect the comforts of home.
I’ve been delighted with vPPR’s work on our brand new preschool, both in terms of the process and the outcome. The compliments are flying in from prospective parents and staff, but most importantly, we’ve already seen how well the space serves the children and meets their needs.
Joanna Shall, Director, Two Hands Preschool
A series of architectural elements encourage exploration and play without creating overly-controlled, prescriptive experiences. Inspired by the well-known educational philosophies of Montessori, Froebel and Reggio Emilia, the Two Hands approach is focused on positivity, thoughtfulness and understanding. This is reflected in the design response, such as the use of bold primary shapes and colours in natural finishes. Triangles, circles and squares are used to create a kind of internal street that can be used in a variety of different ways by the children. Many of these forms are also used for storage which is always essential for educational organisations.
The colourful playfulness continues across the main space, with brightly-painted pillars used to designate different zones. A servery area has been created to look like a market stall, which opens out onto a dining area that also doubles up as a cookery classroom, all at child height. The dining room can be separated from the main space by a curtain and then there is an additional sleeping room, separated by a second curtain that can become a stage for performances.
The entire space has been carefully considered to allow for views through different areas so that teachers can oversee children while changing a nappy and the headteacher can survey the nursery from her office, using portholes cut into internal walls. The behind-the-scenes areas are made of more durable materials that reflect traditionally institutional environments but there is still an element of joy, such as yellow lino flooring and blue tile grout.
Sustainable and environmental aspects are reflected in the natural materials and finishes:
Operational services tend to have one of the highest impact on the embodied carbon:
Social Values have been adopted throughout the use of the building:
Ground Floor Plan