Lewisham Children and Young People's Centre
The convex side of the crescent faces the busy road and shelters a garden at the back with car parking behind. We wanted the building to have a strong presence on the street and placed the entrance below the highest point of the building. The use of bold colours around the entrance provides an arresting visual focus at street level.
The main entrance welcomes people coming from all directions. The visitor is greeted immediately on the right by the reception desk, a curved ‘hub’ allowing an uninterrupted view of the waiting areas, garden and the beginning of the two wide corridors leading to each wing of the crescent.
The waiting area is in two parts: one side for younger and the other aimed at older children. The circulation routes are envisaged as distinctive spaces in their own right with some seating and lighting where artwork can be hung. Physiotherapy, child protection rooms and an indoor children’s play area are all on the ground floor.
The first floor is similar to the ground, with two pathways running off the central sub-waiting area in the middle beside a balcony overlooking the ground floor reception. The three upper floors are open plan areas with two different departments on each floor. Shared staff areas are at the heart of the building around the atrium on each floor. On the fourth floor staff have their own café with access to a roof terrace overlooking the street.
The small garden at the back of the building provides a peaceful vista for patients seated in the waiting areas, an antidote to the bustle and noise of the main road. It is enclosed to provide a safe, tranquil environment where children can play safely.