The Sutton Life Centre is an unprecedented new building typology combining an immersive learning environment and community library. Children navigate a series of physical and immersive environments communicating critical life skills and citizenship issues, such as drug culture, alcohol, hazards and climate change, developing a citizen’s role in the community and our influence in a political world. These environments are adaptable for all age groups with the ability to create personalised digitally environments.
Central to the architectural concept is an internal street that links the ‘Life Centre’, the Library, and the principle entrance. Sequences of smaller spaces adjoin the street on both sides and, with the street, are expressed by the three long gable roof shapes extruded across the linear site. At the entrance, three vernacular timber gable ends responds to the rhythm, scale and form of neighbouring suburban semi-detached houses. At the opposite end of the building, a faceted multi-coloured climbing wall is related to multi-use games courts and a linear eco-activity garden. A combination of contemporary and traditional materials has been used to create a subtle and surprising twist to a familiar architectural form.
Awarded BREEAM excellent, cutting edge sustainable earth tube, biomass boiler and rainwater harvesting technology provides 50% renewables and an eco/habitat garden provides a green buffer to the local residents.