- Housing & Care 21
- Emersons Green, Bristol
- 50 units
Edward Jenner Court, part of S106 funding from the Emersons Green urban development, is a Later Living housing scheme for over 55’s offering independent living whilst providing flexible care and support from a care team. The scheme is made up of 50 two-bedroom affordable apartments available for both rent and shared ownership.
The principal challenge for our Later Living Architects was to design the scheme to sit comfortably within the restricted urban site. The site is surrounded by both residential and commercial zones and is in close proximity of a motorway to the north and Spine Road to the south. The aim was to achieve a balanced community providing a ‘home for life’ that was adaptable for both those with high care needs and those with none. The self-contained apartments all had to meet part M4(2).
A further aim of the scheme was to also act as a resource to the wider community providing local day care, meals and home care. Communal facilities should include a café/ bistro, wellbeing suite, laundry room, hair salon, lounge, dining room and an activity room.
Site security, ensuring safety and privacy for residents was an essential consideration.
Our Later Living Architects met the challenge by linking all the apartments within a single 3 to 4 storey building without the use of external decking access. The 4 storey element is located to the north of the building, acting as a buffer from the noise of the motorway. Whilst the shorter 3 storey element is located to the south where it provides a sympathetic transition to the lower residential housing to the south of Spine Road. By consolidating the Extra Care housing scheme into this 3-4 storey design, there is less building footprint allowing adequate space on the site to accommodate the external landscaping and sufficient parking spaces. It also gives the residents the best opportunity to engage with the communal facilities on offer.
The communal areas of the development are clustered around the main entrance creating a vibrant social space that provide opportunities for residents and visitors to meet spontaneously as they come and go from the building. The apartments are arranged to maximise southerly aspects and, where this is not possible, dual aspects or bay windows have been provided. The circulation around the building allows views to the outside and assists wayfinding as well as facilitating opportunities for natural cooling. Folding, sliding walls, offer the flexibility to separate the main lounge, dining area and activity room for large events.
A progressive privacy strategy prevents rooms being accessed by the general public. Corridors providing access to the apartments are located beyond access-controlled doors. Further safety features include a separate pedestrian access point giving a direct and safe route to the building for visitors and residents from Jenner Boulevard. The design also includes a pedestrian route to spine road to ensure residents can access the bus stop without having to walk around the vehicular access route. Access control prevents the pedestrian route becoming used by the public retaining the security of the site.
From the onset sustainability has been considered as part of the design and construction phase, aiming to achieve a minimum Code Level 3 and BREEAM ‘Very Good’ with the least carbon footprint possible. The design also allows the future installation of PVs to the roofs.
Brickwork is the dominant material used reflecting the surrounding residential and commercial units. The use of vertical timber cladding helps to soften the buildings’ appearance creating an attractive and accessible development of the highest quality.