The project involved the replacement of two community centres in Chingford with 44 extra care apartments in the grounds of a Grade II listed historic building. It was designed to meet the recommendations of the HAPPI report, enabling residents to live independently in their own homes.
Features in this award-winning development include winter garden balconies and wide circulation deck access walkways with seating areas to encourage social interaction.
The site is behind the rear gardens of predominantly semi-detached houses and the grounds of Friday Hill House, a large Grade II listed building to the north.
The existing buildings on the site, the Tom Oakman Centre and the Scope Chingford Centre, did not meet current standards.
Redevelopment of the site offered the opportunity to respond to the enhanced standards for the provision of housing for older people as set out in the HAPPI report.
Communal facilities, available to both residents and the wider community, are clustered around the main entrance. This ensures a vibrant social heart to the scheme, as well as privacy to the residential areas beyond this semi-private area.
The lounge, dining room and activity rooms can be used for coffee mornings and lunch clubs, and offered for hire when available. Additional facilities include a laundry, guest room, hairdressing salon, consulting room and an assisted spa room, plus 24-hour onsite care staff and a community alarm service.
Dwellings at Weale Road are accessed from open deck access walkways, avoiding dark, gloomy corridors. The walkways overlook shared landscaped gardens and facilitate greater interaction, while dual-aspect design ensures good ventilation and plenty of natural light.
The apartments benefit from private amenity space in the form of winter gardens, which are accessed from the lounge space.
This unheated space is enclosed by frameless glass screens which provide shelter from the rain and wind, and therefore increase the use of the space during inclement weather.
The winter gardens act as a buffer to improve thermal performance of the apartments during the winter, but in warm weather the glazed screens can slide to one side to provide an open but recessed balcony space.
The scheme, described as ‘aspirational housing for older people’, has won or been shortlisted for the following awards: