Fun building on a serious campus

Saturday 27 Feb 2010

New creche at UCD provides innovative and sustainable extension development

If a child arrives at the new Oakmount Creche at University College Dublin (UCD) they will meet a fun building which is both welcoming and exciting. The glazed entrance area immediately gives sight of the coloured playground beyond. The blue floor has an arrangement of yellow 'stepping stone' circles. The blue 'Magic Room Tower' has an odd assortment of windows of different shapes and sizes vaguely imitating a freckled child's smiling face. The low horizontal windows at the bottom are designed for toddlers and waddlers to look through either to the outside world or to the oncoming parent.

In this extension development, an entrance courtyard (terminated by the said tower), was created and large corridor windows to the front are deliberate to make the building as bright and friendly as possible. The setting for the building is an Arboritum which belonged to the now disappeared Roebuck Grove Georgian mansion (demolished in 1970).

In response to the stated assessment criteria, the Oakmount Creche houses a blue tower with funny windows on a third level campus for originality, a welcoming courtyard and transparent entrance for form and multiple environmentally friendly elements to fill the brief on sustainability. These include the use of both passive and active solar energy, a humidity variable diffusion resistance vapour barrier and a timber frame. The Oakmount Creche was built just for kids, not for stuffy adults and provides a fun building to observe the world from. Although functionally meeting all the childcare guidelines space requirements for the 50 additional children (110 total) it remains a 'home from home'.The Montessori principle of 'learning by fun' has been significantly enhanced by the buildings colour, openness and relation to playground and outside areas. Different age groups mix in the Magic Room and develop social, creative and imaginary skills.

Key Facts


Want to submit your project to World Architecture News?

Contact The Team
  • Town Planning Manager | Housebuilder in Surrey | 3+ years' PQE

    Are you a Town Planner with some commercial experience under your belt (consultancy or developer)? Would you like to work for a regional housebuild...
    • Lewis Davey
    • Surrey - near M25/M23 junction
  • Principal Planning Consultant (Policy)

    This is a career opportunity for somebody looking to play a key role in the delivery of an effective and efficient planning policy service.
    • Capita
    • Manchester/Salford (North West) or Breckland or North Tyneside or Barnet (North London)
  • Planning Officers

    Work as key members of the Councils development management service providing pre-application advice, dealing with applications and appeals.
    • Chiltern and South Bucks Council
    • Amersham, Buckinghamshire
  • Enforcement Officer - Hertfordshire

    A Local Authority in Hertfordshire are looking for an Enforcement Officer to assist them with a backlog of cases for an initial contract of 3-6 months
    • Oyster Partnership
    • Hertfordshire
  • Planning Officer

    Do you want to work for a Planning Authority in a superb world-class location, that also has an outstanding record of achievement?
    • Plymouth City Council
    • Plymouth, Devon