A re-modelling of a greenfield agricultural site creates nursery provision for 80 children aged 6 months to 5 years in stunning Northumberland farmland.

Project Name: Meadows Nursery
Studio Name:
Mailen Design
Completion date: 2018
Location: Northumberland, United Kingdom
Photography: Kristen McCluskie

Meadows Nursery by Mailen Design - Sheet1
Play Area ©Kristen McCluskie

Given its sensitive context it was necessary for the building to merge into the landscape and reflect the rural aesthetic of the surrounding agricultural vernacular.

The building is arranged to frame the scenery while providing generous internal spaces and exterior
play areas for. The scale and form aim to break up the mass to reduce the impact on the green belt and capitalise on solar gain and natural ventilation.

The crisp volumes are clad in carefully detailed natural materials that complement the rural setting while remaining contemporary.

Meadows Nursery by Mailen Design - Sheet2
Activity Area ©Kristen McCluskie

Ecological performance is enhanced by sustainable technologies including photovoltaic panels, rainwater capture and a MVHR ventilation system.

The building and site layout is befitting of its context and reduces impact on the openness of the green belt.

The notion of house & home led the design to develop the formal concept around a series of nursery ‘houses’, each forming a space for the individual age groups.

Meadows Nursery by Mailen Design - Sheet3
Exterior View ©Kristen McCluskie

The new build part of the development is thus conceived as a cluster of three houses with children progressing gradually through the spaces as they grow up.

The existing topography and new planting helps screen the major new build elements from view and the overall layout allows the nursery spaces to continue to have a connection to a protected shared south facing garden.

The project is currently one of only 6 buildings shortlisted for recognition in the RIBA North East Awards


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