Developed as part of the City of London’s strategy to provide programming and support to families in higher needs areas, the White Oaks Family Centre was designed as an addition to the White Oaks Public School/South London Community Pool complex. Partners in the collaborative development of the design included the London Children’s Connection, the City of London and the Thames Valley District School Board. The addition provides a children’s play room/multipurpose room, with an “en-suite” community kitchen, a resource/ consultation room for visiting practitioners, as well as a large meeting room and interprofessional work room. Natural light, a warm and inviting environment and the ability to connect to the remainder of the complex while maintaining security were the key elements of the design.
Milestones Children’s Centre, located in southeast St. Thomas, provides 118 child care spaces for infant, toddlers, preschoolers and JK/ SK children. Designed to afford all of the play rooms beautiful views of the surrounding mature trees, the plan of the centre “wraps” around a stand of mature pines, creating a secure courtyard to the southwest of the centre. A long, covered porch faces the main playground to the north, providing a sheltered play space that is accessible from the play rooms and available in all weather. Internally, the functional arrangement of spaces promotes independence for the child and ease of supervision for their care providers. The lively and colourful selection of interior finishes makes this a truly child-centred environment.
The addition and alterations to Thames Valley Children’s Centre began with the development of a reorganization and expansion plan that re-conceptualized the organization of the facility, as well as the delivery of services to the Centre’s clients. From this Functional Programming phase, Conceptual Plans were developed for the expansion, including the addition of a third floor to the existing two storey facility. Program spaces include open and private office spaces, a video-conferencing suite, multi-purpose/ meeting rooms and treatment spaces. Natural lighting, clear circulation and way-finding through the organization of interior spaces were the guiding elements of the design.