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Duke Street Nursery School

Part 1 Project 2006
Sylvia Khatun
University of Liverpool, UK
Wall & Patterning of Number 3

Main aspect of the building is its harmonic rhythm, which is based on the traditional fenestration of the Georgian Terraces on Duke Street. Thus, all components of the building are articulated around the number 3. Thus, the layout of every floor, the heights and thicknesses of floor slab and roofs, the structural layout, circulation, classrooms and play areas are based on the mathematical calculation related to the number 3.

The wall, as such the heaviest and thickest element of the building, also incorporates 3 different window sizes located at different heights: adults, children. It also uses 3 different skin layering systems: insulation, non- insulation and different colour rendering. Materiality alters as the child moves deeper into the building from heavy to light.

Sylvia Khatun

This project is an interesting re-interpretation of the traditional three-storey English primary school typology. The building is primarily concerned with space, memory and materiality. Space is articulated as a continuous spiral allowing children to trace their way as they progress through the building not only daily but also yearly, hence stimulating the accumulation of memories of growth. The selection of materials reinforces such an intention by encouraging associations between specific uses and the physical characteristics of each space. This is a refreshing proposal that reveals the potential of traditional architectures without using banal (unnecessary decoration) or artificial (technical gadgetry) resources.

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