The Wonderworks, Warner Bros Studios

A new nursery for childcare provider ‘The Wonderworks’ at Warner Bros Studios in Leavesden, Hertfordshire. The Wonderworks are a new childcare provider specifically catering for the film industry and this is to be their first permanent home. The project involved the conversion of a contemporary office suite into a new Children’s nursery. Whilst the suite provided plentiful daylight and visual connection to an external garden, the existing office building was clinical, sterile and not welcoming to a child. Our design revolved around creating an experience that felt warm, playful and inspiring to children. Using recognisable motifs such as the ‘house’ and ‘tree’ we worked to create spaces that felt domestic, beginning with the entrance gate where a child sized door welcomes children into a planted courtyard. The Wonderworks follow the Reggio Emillia approach to childcare and this heavily influenced our philosophy, putting the child at the centre of the design using understated, high quality natural materials that create a canvas for them to learn and play. This natural palette included cork floors, simple robust bespoke joinery from plywood and reclaimed scaffolding boards and muted calming colours whilst elements such as high skirting boards and picture rails serve to further domesticate the interior spaces. A connection to nature is also a key element to the nurseries philosophy and we collaborated with the landscape designer to harmonise the two spaces with use of the tree motif on the external covered atelier creating a holistic approach to the interior and exterior designs.

 

Photographs by Tim Crocker