[First look + plans] Spratley Studios has completed this conversion of a Victorian Arts and Crafts building into a nursery for the University of Oxford
The practice added a ‘seamless extension’ to the former African Studies building in Oxford Road as part of the scheme. The new nursery provides 60 full-time places for Oxford University’s staff and students.
Nursery accommodation is housed on the ground and first floors, with operations and extended services on the second floor.
The project was completed in eight months.
The architect’s view
Nature and colour drove the internal design concept. Each room is colour coded relating to the age group of the children and includes a graphic feature wall to complement the theme and develop the ambience. Stencils create scenes from nature, which are integrated to provide interest for the children and assist in the learning process. Added stimulus is provided through textured flooring which helps create a sensory learning experience for children of all ages. Colours extend beyond individual rooms, enabling safe and independent movement throughout.
The need for a durable low-maintenance and secure environment determined the material palette. Outside, recycled concrete paving and artificial glass provide a safe playing area, while Dalsoupe rubber flooring and Silestone worktops continue this theme internally.