This community education and play facility for all ages includes a children’s centre, seminar and activity rooms, social space, growing and activities gardens, and an adventure play building and playground.
The Intergenerational Centre is the UK’s first purpose-built building of its kind. The vision for the Centre, as a place that will bring together children, young people, parents, the middle-aged and seniors, is reflected in the design. Funding conditions dictated that a percentage of the allocation be spent within a time limit. Fast-track volumetric construction was chosen in order to meet the programme. The standardised nature of this system gave the team a rigorous design discipline. We successfully customised the prefabricator’s standard interior and exterior appearance. We made certain that welcome and security were balanced. The entrance is reached directly from a public footpath. A “planted timber wall” provides security and screening on the entrance facade. This project was realised under PPC 2000. Working with a “product” rather than traditional materials was a successful new experience for the partnering contractor, client and designers. The Acacia IGC is the first building in the UK to combine an innovative inter-seasonal heat-transfer heat pump and light-weight prefabricated construction. Heating, cooling and renewable energy are all achieved with a highly efficient system.
With a physical link to the Intergeneration Centre, the adventure playground and its building also provide a dedicated entrance for its main users, 8-16 year olds. The naturally ventilated timber frame building includes a covered play area, large play room, office and toilets all in easy reach from the playground through large folding doors on the main elevation. This welcoming face of the building is made secure with sliding timber shutters when the playground is shut.
The playground building provides excellent disability facilities with a purpose designed sensory room and disabled WC that includes a changing bed and shower. This last facility enables the building to be used by older adults and smaller children linking it to the intergenerational ethos of the whole site vision.