- Linc Cymru, in partnership with RCT
- Club Street, Aberaman, Rhondda Cynon Taf
- 40 Units and communal facilities
The Maesyffynnon Extra Care development was handed over to Rhondda Cynon Taf by Linc Cymru on Friday the 1stMay 2020 at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. All residents were under strict quarantine and confined to their rooms, where meals were delivered. Residents were able to go to an open space externally for a short period of time each day.
Our Architect’s visit in early July 2021, presented a much happier picture of communal life within the Maesyffynnon elderly community. Although social distancing remains the primary precaution, the residents have established their presence and personality within the main communal spaces, mainly the entrance foyer and concourse which is naturally lit from the lightwell, with the central area leading into the dining space and lounge.
The design challenge was to achieve a 40-unit scheme over three floors, on a restricted site area, whilst attempting to integrate the design with the small two storey cottages on Club Street. Overlook from the sheltered accommodation on Blaengwawr Close also restricted where the new building could be located. In addition to this, parking numbers for staff and residents also needed to be accommodated and within the same area the refuse store and sub-station required integration.
Our Care Home Architects developed a ‘T’ shaped building that provided a solution to the constraints encountered, with the top of the ‘T’ providing the street frontage and the ‘long leg’ providing parking to the North East and the courtyard garden to the South West.
The building has crisp lines and a mixed pallet of materials with a traditional blend which belies the fact that the principal construction is formed from 120 modular units, being delivered to site on the back of a lorry and craned into place.
The building is one of the first of its kind in Wales and a major milestone for using innovative modular construction in future Extra Care developments.
This modular construction scheme involved high quality sections, known as modules, being fabricated, finished with fully fitted kitchens and bathrooms in a factory, 75 miles from the development. The modules are precision positioned by a mobile crane and a temporary waterproof system provides protection prior to the roof being formed above the third floor.
This method of construction is more commonly associated with more cellular building types such as, hotels and student accommodation blocks, where usually one module is used for each apartment.
For the state-of-the-art Maesyffynnon scheme, 2 modules were fixed together on site to form a single apartment. The off-site work to the apartments included full M&E installation and all finishes, with the exception of the hall where making good to the connection of the two units is necessary.
The scheme is located on a former care home site which was unfit for purpose and the development currently provides a home for 40 local residents who can now create their own community and flourish with the independence of their own tenancy, whilst also having the level of care on hand necessary to leading a fulfilling life in their later years.
The three-storey building includes a dining room, café, hair salon, therapy room, lounge, laundry room and activity room. The entrance concourse is spacious providing an informal activity area link between the dining area and the lounge.
A winter garden area is also integrated for residents to enjoy the indoor and outdoor gardens from a comfortable temperature-controlled zone.
The external garden area is a work in progress and Linc Cymru intend to develop the garden concept with the help of the residents. A further partnership has also been struck between the Extra Care and the adjacent Blaengwarw Primary School with the intention of developing a combined garden area to the South of the site, where residents and school children alike can combine their abilities and life experience for good gardening purpose and perhaps tell a tale or two.