Charles Holland Architects (CHA) have been granted Planning Permission for a new Pre-School in the village of Kingsdown, east Kent. The building will be a completely new structure located in the grounds of the existing Kingsdown and Ringwould Primary School.
CHA worked closely with Kingsdown Pre-School and Dover Arts Development in a series of community engagement exercises to establish the need for a new building and identify a suitable site. The proposed Pre-School will replace an existing temporary classroom that has become run-down and unsuitable for teaching.
The new timber-framed Pre-School building will contain a large multi-use teaching space allowing up to 30 pre-school-age children at any one time. The interior requirements were developed through close consultation with the nursery staff and offer a significant improvement over previous facilities that posed difficult operational and access constraints. The main teaching space can be sub-divided, offering staff flexibility over pupil numbers and age groups. This room will open out onto an external play area and garden while additional space is provided for staff offices, cloakrooms, a kitchen, WCs and generous amounts of storage.
The position and orientation of the building will serve to improve and give character to a previously neglected corner of the village. The Pre-School will operate independently from the main Primary School and the new building will have its own entrance from the street. It offers a generous, civic new frontage to this street and improves local road safety through both its design and a new integrated travel plan drawn up in consultation with the Primary School.
Externally, the building is clad in white-painted vertical timber boarding with pink-painted chevron boarding denoting the entrance area. This entrance is recessed to allow a generous, covered waiting and collecting area for parents with buggies which is clearly set back from the street. Two green-painted tree-trunk columns frame the entrance below a semi-circular lunette-window that illuminates the interior. Signage has been incorporated into the architecture in a manner that recalls the lettering on the nearby village hall as well as a tradition of small-scale civic buildings more generally. A pair of triangular-shaped window bays, scaled to the height of pre-school age children, provide views out and reading-nooks within. The metal rainwater goods and timber-framed windows are both painted jade green as are the bespoke ‘lolly-pop’ railings that form the boundary.