Designed by Roar (Pallavi Dean Interiors) with contracting work by Cambridge Consultants, the design brief for Ora, Nursery of the Future was to create a learning experience with innovation and futurism in a nurturing environment that is also playful, stimulating and social. The impact of the interior design on the emotional and physical well-being of the children was a crucial consideration, and so flexible and adaptable learning studios were created to accommodate different teaching and learning styles.
Ora’s philosophy rests on four key pillars – Leadership, Happiness & Positivity, Advanced Sciences (including Artificial Intelligence), and Technology. One of the most striking architectural features was the external structure that resembles a gentle, protective cloud, and the designers ensured that each interior space allowed the children to completely immerse themselves in their physical environment.
It was imperative that the nursery facilitated bonding, learning and self-discovery. A neutral colour palette was infused to encourage the children and educators to become the main sources of stimulation. Child-safe technology was also integrated into the floors and walls, where surfaces light up, and display nature inspired images or children’s artworks at the touch of a hand. Computational design was used to create a sculptural reception space with a free flowing curved ceiling and walls.
The heart of the nursery is called the Mars Lab – a community space where children of all ages, along with teachers and parents, can gather in large or small groups. The space features a library and a ‘reading cloud’ (a giant inflatable cushion to snuggle into), a ‘Sky House’ (a play on the traditional tree house) and a mini ‘Coding Hub’ where children can experiment with the idea of programming. This space encourages movement, and develops motor skills by combining traditional swings and slides with interactive projection technology. Furthermore, bespoke installations allow children to jump through projections of space, galaxies and planets, or leave a trail of flowers in a changing seasonal landscape.