South Gwent Special Needs Children's Centre completes


Scott Brownrigg has completed the internal fit-out of this 4,265 sq m (44,830 sq ft) day-care facility for the Aneurin Bevan Health Board and South Gwent Children’s Foundation.  The scheme brings together disparate elements of the care service in the county, for children of all ages with mild to severe special needs. 

As the first multi-agency building of its kind in Wales, Serennu- in Welsh, meaning ‘to sparkle’, accommodates consultation rooms, specialist therapy units, a hydrotherapy pool, and activity gym.

The Centre also operates a Medi-Cinema, which allows children who are unable through their disabilities to normally visit a public cinema to view the latest released feature films. When not in use as a cinema, the space is available to the Health Board and Children’s Foundation as a flexible multi-use area.

The building houses medical records and administrative services connected with patients’ treatment, and minimises the need for travel between different facilities to receive treatment which can prove time consuming and tiring for parents and children.

The incorporation of an information base and parent areas within the facility, create the opportunity for families to share and gain support from each other.  After-hour activities, including use of the pool, cinema and café, will mean the building is used as a community hub, enhancing its sustainability credentials.

The shell was completed in 2006 and led by Scott Brownrigg Director Neil MacOmish and Associate Stephen Quin at their previous practice.  The building is orientated on its site to maximise use of impressive views, and enable formal gardens, and nature walks to be used as part of the therapy process.

Studies were carried out from an early stage to ensure the Centre did not feel ‘institutional,’ and a major factor in the development of this was a feeling of openess and light throughout.