Education In A Modern World

London County Council nursery school, 1930s: Interior

Preliminary design for an LCC Nursery School, Kennington, London

Preliminary design for an LCC Nursery School, Kennington, London, 1939
Pencil and watercolour
Designer: Nugent Francis Cachemaille-Day
© RIBA Library Drawings and Archives Collections

In Cachemaille-Day's proposal, one entered the school past the head's office and various support rooms to reach the playrooms along zigzagging hallways. Each playroom was provided with a cloakroom, bed store and bathroom, and every student space received sufficient air and light from the rear courtyard and covered veranda. Outdoor play space within the crook of the L-shaped school kept children as far away from the road as possible.

In this pencil and watercolour drawing, Cachemaille-Day balances traditional styles with modern elements. Contrasting the more rigorous pencil drawings for Impington, the nursery school's rendering evokes domesticity and warmth with its shingled roof, naturalistic landscape and small scale. These feelings evoked by Cachemaille-Day relate back to the traditional English garden cottage, yet his building's long rows of glazing, rigorous plan and streamlined detailing are decidedly more modern than the rendering might suggest. It is this play between Modernism and tradition that characterises many British architects' work from the inter-war period.


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