Comet Children’s Centre

Part of the second phase of new Children’s Centres in Hackney, this project transforms an existing 1970s single storey nursery with remodeling and a new extension to provide an integrated centre with community facilities. The wide range of complex functions are centred around a shared piazza, which gives focus and coherence to the whole and embraces the Reggio Emilia philosophy for child development. The project includes a 50 place day nursery, a crèche with community kitchen, community room, and consultation rooms.

The new and existing structures are visually united by simple insulating render interspersed with bright canopies, which give presence to the otherwise low form. Child-height windows and doors externally plus bespoke fittings internally create a child-scale environment, which is enhanced by generous day-lighting and fresh bright colours. RSS also designed the external landscape, which offers a rich range of play areas, including spaces for exploring, habitat areas, grass, mounds, seating, hard play and safety surfaces.

"I took two parents around the site this morning. One of them cried! It really is wonderful."

Angela Scattergood, Head Teacher

  • Client:The Learning Trust
  • Location: Hackney
  • Value:£1.23m net build
  • Status:Completed 2009
  • Consultants:Artelia, Michael Barclay Partnership, Michael Jones Associates
  • Contractor:T&B Ltd
  • Photography: Sarah Blee