Two Outstanding Derbyshire Buildings up for Architectural Awards

New Children’s Centre and ‘Green’ Learning Space
in the Spotlight

Two impressive buildings in Derbyshire, a unique new children’s centre and an environmentally friendly new learning space, have been shortlisted for a top regional architecture award.

Designed to celebrate the finest examples of architectural excellence in the region, the awards are presented annually by the Royal Institute of British Architects, East Midlands.

The RIBA EM Awards for Architecture in association with Ibstock Brick Limited, promote the design skills of architects by bringing creative, exemplary and pleasing architecture to the public’s attention.

In the running for a 2007 award are the Derwent Stepping Stones Nursery and Community Training Centre in Chaddesden, and The Longshaw Moorland Discovery Centre, a new learning space, at the Longshaw Estate in Sheffield.

Designed by Redmak Architecture & Urban Design, the Derwent Stepping Stones Centre incorporates a children’s nursery and a community-training scheme, which is raising the profile of the centre regionally and making it a key player in the regeneration of the local area.

The multi-functional building offers a number of services, including a children’s day nursery, adult-training facilities, a space in which local organisations can host meetings and events, and private room hire.

The facility has replaced temporary accommodation with a 4-storey space that is creative, light, and environmentally responsible for local parents, children and staff to enjoy.

Made from lightweight timber, the building incorporates natural lighting and ventilation and uses ecologically responsible materials wherever possible.

The project was designed to create special spaces for children to play in, and to actively engage local parents and residents in the design process.

The design is child friendly, incorporating a variety of colours, textures and shapes, and the play element can be seen throughout in the children’s spaces that look into each other, and in the lantern-lit translucent sensory areas, which flow into indoor and outdoor play areas.

Much emphasis has also been placed on creating wider outdoor spaces, and at each level, access to terraces, balconies and a roof garden.

In addition, the centre plays host to a number of local organisations and events, enhancing the public role of the Derwent Centre in the community.

Says Hannah Minton, Regional Chair of RIBA East Midlands: “It was encouraging to discover the wealth of pleasing, competent and sustainable recent architecture from all parts of the region, whether it be a public building, a school, a university facility or a private house. We are not looking for an overall winner, but to recognise work of excellence within the region and raise the profile or architecture.”



The Derwent Stepping Stones Nursery and Community Training Centre.

Photographers. Martine Hamilton-Knight & Jon Legge

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