Interior Environmental Design

Naomi McIntosh

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The Lade is a child-centred community hub which promotes the natural development of youngsters living in the city. Set in a former Dundee Jute Mill, the large site encompasses a creative arts area, a co-working space and a community café whilst retaining many of the original features of the historic, industrial building. It features a large indoor play area, including different zones for infants, providing a sensory-rich environment that encourages free play. A water channel running through the site, previously used to power jute production is now an attractive focal point and gives the centre its name. The building is powered by a waterwheel which sits upon this lade and photovoltaic tiles on the centre’s feature copper roof making it cost effective to run. The south facing derelict ground has been converted into a community orchard encouraging patrons to grow and tend their own food thus encouraging healthier lifestyles for families in the city. The centre provides support, learning opportunities and social areas for both children and their carers allowing access to affordable childcare, work areas and networking with other families. As well as having a strong focus on nature and sustainability, the design aims to simulate a village community atmosphere which is often lost in our modern, urban landscape. As the saying goes; it takes a village to raise a child.

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1.The Lade centre has an emphasis on learning through PLAY, allowing children the freedom to CREATE and sustainable technologies and gardens that GENERATE power and food.
2. Exploded diagram showing the different zones within the buildings.
3. The site is accessed from the main road by way of a sensory tunnel which casts different light patterns throughout the day.
4. Sunken play pits provide a safe and sensory rich environment for toddlers and infants away from the older children's play areas.
5. The creative arts centre allows children and their families access to craft, music and drama workshops.
6. The upstairs co-working space has a circular feature window looking up towards Dundee Law and swing seats ensuring adults are not excluded from the fun.
7. Final site plan shows the buildings and garden layout.
8. Community orchard allows Dundee families to grow and tend their own food, learning valuable gardening skills and encouraging healthier lifestyles.
9. Final scale model showing the south facing gardens and feature origami-style copper roof.
10. Final scale model view looking in from the rear of the site.


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