Worle, North Somerset
The partnership between Alliance Homes and North Somerset Council established a complex brief for an affordable, rented extra care development, capable of accommodating residents with early to severe forms of dementia, whilst also incorporating a council run ‘daycare’ centre. A courtyard garden, complete with an existing mature tree and centrally located home-zone activity rooms, provides a basis from which a dementia programme can be delivered.
The unfortunate announcement of the government ‘rent cap’ in the autumn of 2015 resulted in a complete ‘about turn’ in the delivery approach, to salvage a loss-making scheme. Alliance had little option but to refocus on delivering 50% of the apartments for shared ownership, requiring client, contractor, interior designer and architect to develop a higher quality alternative fitting-out scheme, half-way through construction.
The general principles of HAPPI 2 were incorporated into the scheme; namely all residents have an outside space, a significant proportion of corridors open at one side allowing natural light illumination, large glazed areas with low sills to maximise naturally lit apartment spaces, external and internal communal spaces with associated home-zones. The main feature of the glulam columns and beams resulted in a dynamic communal space without boundaries, which serves a number of functions.
The resulting building product delivers excellent quality, adaptability and functionality where required, ultimately making possible the most positive of lifestyles for the residents.