Kaleidoscope Children and Young People's Centre, Lewisham.

Completion Date: 2006
Contract Value: £8.5m
Client: Lewisham Primary Care Trust
Awards: RIBA Award, Building Better Healthcare Awards Highly Commended, Civic Trust Award Commendation, Prime Minister’s Better Public Building Award Shortlisted, RICS Community Benefit Award Runner-up

Kaleidoscope is a pioneering service that combines a variety of health, social and educational services for children and young people. The diverse stakeholder clients wanted a single new building to allow children and their carers to access a range of services which were previously scattered across the borough. The centre was to provide office space for 340 consultants, and administration staff, with around 50 high-tech clinical and consultation rooms.

James was responsible for the design of the competition winning entry, and served as design team leader through to completion. We prioritised thorough consultation with the stakeholders,  a design which combined the myriad of needs, desires, and constraints in a deceptively simple, clear and joyful design.

The building has no corridors – all circulation looks out across a garden courtyard with 45 birch trees and a periwinkle roof. Each floor is brightly coloured and there is abundant natural light and fresh air. It is exemplary in terms of sustainable design for both health and open-plan office buildings, including natural ventilation, pioneering cast-in heating and cooling (no annoying or dangerous radiators!), and high levels of adaptability.