New crèche/ daycare Facility at JMG Systems site on the Derry Road in Omagh. The new facility was to take the form of an extension to a detached house on their site. The house had lain empty for some time, and, although in good structural condition, its layout would clearly need some major changes.
A strict and tight timeframe of 8 months was given to gain all statutory approvals and complete the building ready for at the start of the school term.
Due to the tight construction time, it was suggested that the new extension should be built in timber frame construction, due to speed of erection and lack of drying-out time.
The finished building as seen from the road it is a modest family house of the 1970’s, but to the rear and largely out of sight it has taken on an alter ego with a modern wing. This cedar-clad extension with mono pitched roof is energetic and angular; it is a playful counterpart to the existing structure and spreads out in a manner that suggests a mother hen taking her chicks under her wing.
Access to the creche is through an existing approach to a JMG’s Existing Production Buildings to the rear. Car parking and a drop-off space is provided in the Production building’s forecourt which is safe and off-road. From here gates lead to the fairy tale entrance, it is painted bright Burgundy red and raises a diagonal pitched roof, like the visor of a knights helmet. In reception each child is provided with a cubby hole and a coat hook, and after arriving, the children are conducted to their appropriate play areas. The entrance forecourt and external play area is flanked by the raking profile of the extension; the cedar cladding has been left untreated so that time will weather it to a silver-grey. The facade presents a lively kaleidoscope of window openings whose tilted alignment responds to the angle of the mono pitched roof. Openings vary in height and shape in an abstract pattern, a prominent triangulated dormer raises another jutting profile and admits south light into the first floor playroom.
The extension covers an outside play area and is linked to the parent building by modern glazed strips which articulate the separation between old and new.
The project seems to have entered the minds of children to produce an environment of intimacy, colour, sparkle, light and a touch of whimsy. It is up and running and provides a much needed childcare facility in the Omagh area where it is highly valued.