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MUMA revives Community Centre and Nursery with cute and tiny details in Cambridge
United Kingdom Architecture News - Jul 20, 2018 - 05:45 8099 views
London-based architecture firm MUMA has revived this Community Centre and Nursery with cute and tiny details, as well as a well-crafted façade and materiality at Storey’s Field in Cambridge. The project, named Storey's Field Community Centre and Nursery, is also among the RIBA's 2018 Stirling Prize shortlist.
The building, serves as a Community Centre and Nursery, deeply provides a balance between its unique and pure aesthetic and its functionality. The architects create a unique sense of space starting from the playground, daylight, materials to ventilation, which are all brought into the café but without compromising the privacy of the children.
Offering in some spaces dual uses, like the external garden outside the wedding venue which can be used as a quiet reading room for the Nursery; the building proposes the competing needs of the users, which are all well-balanced within the building and the management of the building.
The building includes a big Community Hall, which was designed to become a more important place in the new community at Storey’s Field, and to become its civic centre or town hall.
The Community Hall offers spaces for various functions like weddings, music concerts, funerals, political debate, which gives it a significance above and beyond a space for hobbies, exercise, local groups and kids parties.
"To address this enhanced symbolic value for the community, the architects stepped the building side wards to address a longer view in the masterplan, and set it back to create a gathering space outside the Hall and a parents’ drop-off space outside the Nursery," stated in the project description by a jury report.
"To complete the sense of civic pride, the external walls of the Hall are lined with comfortable seats to stop and chat to neighbours while you wait to enter."
For the 2018 Stirling Prize, the jury report states that "this is the very highest quality architecture. It shows how an architect can add joy, an enhanced experience of materials and human dimension to every part of a building. The spaces in the nursery are worthy of a much more sophisticated audience, but are always based around the scale and activities in each space."
"Where small windows are needed they are arranged in the pattern of constellations of stars (even with the correct orientation), where a decorative circular window from the enclosed garden is made out of a ventilation inlet grille, it is evidence of the skill, imagination and continuous attention to detail of the architect. This is a truly well-crafted building, where material or technology is only used where it is needed."
In the interior of the Hall, the space provides a beautiful balance of function and sustainability (it is vented naturally using an underground labyrinth), acoustic performance and expression of materials.
By using a patterned brickwork for the enclosing wall, it acts to break up the reflections of music or speech to provide a good acoustic, but also suggests patterns of geology in the surrounding landscape.
"The amount of daylight or the feel of the acoustics can be changed by simply dropping or rising blinds so users can control the environment without complex management systems. Even the access stair to the plant on the roof is via a sculptural spiral staircase that takes its part in performances," detailed in the description.
Storey's Field Community Centre and Nursery is conceived as an example of the very best in British architectural design. It is stated that when it offers ideas, skill and care in ways that transform the human use and experience of this building at every opportunity.
For the sustainability approach, the Nursery and Community Centre have been assessed for environmental sustainability using the BREEAM methodology and are on track to be certified "Excellent" and "Outstanding" respectively.
Natural ventilation is integrated with the architectural form with stack ventilation drawing air passively into the main hall via an underground labyrinth, this naturally moderates the temperature.
"The BREEAM standard is also reflected in the attention to detail giving to acoustics and quality of daylight. High quality robust finishes, and design measures to cope with future climate change, should ensure the building stands the test of time. A beautiful and biodiverse landscape design incorporates rehomed orchard trees that were no longer commercially viable."
"The project integrates with an ambitious masterplan for North West Cambridge with underfloor heating derived from a central combined heat and power plant, a rainwater main supplying the toilets, and new bus service and cycle route."
The project previously won the RIBA Regional Award, Regional/RSAW Sustainability award, Regional/RSAW Building of the Year and named in Regional Award Short List.
See the full shortlisted projects for the 2018 Stirling Prize here, the winner of the RIBA Stirling Prize will be announced on Wednesday, October 10, 2018 at the Roundhouse in Camden, London.
All imgages © Alan Williams
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