We are looking for some specialist advice and possibly assistance from the esteemed readers of the AJ. We are a couple of (mature) on-off architecture students and mothers from Brighton who have recently volunteered to attempt to provide our local playgroup with a much-needed new building.
Fiveways Playgroup is a widely loved, not-for-profit (but always solvent) childcare facility, after-school club, and venue for the weekend meetings of a diverse range of community groups.
It is located within a residential conservation area, on a fabulous tree-lined street not far from the city centre.
The playgroup is currently housed in a ramshackle collection of prefabricated huts erected more than 20 years ago by a team of playgroup parents. Eager to pre-empt the inevitable (i. e. the closing down of the existing 'temporary' structure in the face of increasingly thorough Health and Safety legislation), we have persuaded the playgroup to appoint local architectural firm BBM Sustainable Design to undertake a feasibility study for an innovative, energy-efficient new building.
However, with no funding yet in place, we need a great deal of help in terms of hard cash and materials, as well as advice, if we are ever to realise our dream (and BBM's design).
This exciting project has the potential to address sustainability and joined-up thinking on many different levels.
We are extremely keen to involve the users (the children, staff and parents) in the design and building process from the outset, and are open to all manner of (legal) suggestions. Your help would be most gratefully received.
Lili Roseveare and Fiona McWilliam, Brighton