Little Ripley Day Nursery, Sutton Coldfield has been working closely with street furniture specialists AUTOPA Limited to create and install a waiting canopy for its new nursery. Located at Withy Farm, the nursery is surrounded by open fields and, as a result, fully exposed to the elements. Nursery staff wanted to install a safe and visually appealing canopy that would add to the welcoming and friendly atmosphere they envisioned for their newest location, while also offering waiting parents protection from the elements.
Responsible for ten nurseries across Sutton Coldfield, the Little Ripley Day Nursery group has a strong brand image. The group has taken time to build a fun and vibrant atmosphere at each of their nurseries. As a result, it was essential the new canopy complemented the site's cheerful design scheme.
AUTOPA manufactured and designed the canopy in-house at its works in Rugby. Designed specifically for the nursery, the finished item matched their requirements perfectly. The canopy was manufactured using mild steel and galvanised for longevity. Each of the steel sections were then individually powder coated in a variety of primary colours to match the colours used across the site.
Although aesthetics were of great importance, with space for 60 children aged between 18 months and 5 years it was crucial that the canopy's design was child friendly. Therefore a number of child specific features were added to the design. To reduce the risk of tripping over the canopy's legs a cantilevered design was suggested and chosen. Meanwhile, round rather than square legs were added to reduce the risk of injury should a child run into them. Finally, the canopy's roof was angled towards the existing building, ensuring that any rainwater flowed into building's existing guttering and not onto parents waiting below.
When the qualified AUTOPA installers left site, they left the nursery with a bespoke canopy that is guaranteed to last for many years to come. The response from both the architects and the nursery staff was unanimously positive. The architects were thrilled with the way the canopy "enhanced the building's appearance" while the nursery staff were delighted with the "excellent service given from planning through to installation"