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Alma-nac reveals conversion of south London townhouse into nursery

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Alma-nac has revealed it is converting a Victorian townhouse in Herne Hill, south London, into a nursery for a local private primary school

Herne Hill School acquired the four-storey end-of-terrace house near the main school by Brockwell Park to create a nursery site dedicated to its youngest kindergarten children.

The refurbishment will open up the arrangement of the existing house, creating a much more flexible layout comprising classrooms, art room, sleeping space, staff room and kitchen, offices and event space.

A second phase will see the construction of a purpose-built outbuilding for larger group activities, which will open up on to a new play garden, creating provision for outdoor learning.

Alma-nac was brought in to adapt the original building – formerly occupied by a business – to enliven the structure while creating a blank canvas for teachers and children to express themselves.

According to the practice, the scheme will reveal the warm qualities of the original architecture while modernising the building to create a safer space for children.

The original Victorian stair and exterior decoration are set to be refurbished with new energy-efficient windows and external doors while large folding walls replace old partitions.

Alma-nac said the decision to retrofit the existing structure rather than building anew demonstrated both the client and architect’s commitment to designing economically and sustainably.

Phase one is expected to complete by summer 2020. 

alma-nac's plans for Herne Hill Nursery in south London

alma-nac’s plans for Herne Hill Nursery in south London

alma-nac’s plans for Herne Hill Nursery in south London

Project data

Name of project Herne Hill School
Nursery Address 99 Herne Hill, London SE24 9LY
Site area 792m²
GIA 460m² Phase 1: 370m², Phase 2: 90m²
Client Herne Hill School
Architect Alma-nac
Project architects Chris Bryant, Roz Peebles
Construction phase August 2019 - June 2020
Building contractor MS Building and Maintenance Services
Structural engineer Constant SSD - Tom Ashton/Brian Constant
Photography ©alma-nac


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