Ashford dementia care project wins design award

What’s thought to be the first fully dementia-friendly housing scheme in Ashford, Kent scooped an award at the 2016 Kent Design and Development Awards.

Farrow Court, designed by PRP Architects, was named a joint winner of the ‘Residential-Major’ category


Screens up at major new Midlands hospital

The £297m Midland Metropolitan Hospital, under construction in Smethwick near Birmingham, has seen an important milestone with construction beginning on its rainscreen cladding by specialist contractor Prater. Midland Metropolitan Hospital will

provide acute emergency care to the Smethwick area including 670 beds and 15 operating theatre suites. It includes around 80,000 m2

of accommodation. The design by London-based Edward

Williams Architects is intended to “provide under one roof cutting edge technologies in medicine in a beautiful environment,” and at a “human scale.” The building has been hailed by Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust chief executive Toby Lewis as “a glass palace” due to the extensive glazing to the facade. He told the Birmingham Mail that the hospital would mean “moving towards acute care seven days a week” – completion is scheduled for mid-2018. The architects commented: “Analysis of

the brief produced a natural stacking of functions with wards at the top, clinical areas in the middle and the car park at the

bottom – a unique arrangement for a build- ing of this type.” They continued: “Clear and logical stacking of floors and functions maximises usable floor area and achieves desired clinical adjacencies.” The exterior palette includes terracotta

and timber as well as glazing, ETFE pillows, concrete, painted metal cores and metal louvres. Edward Williams Architects said: “The facade materials are organised by vertical elements to break up the mass of the building and reflect the rhythm of the structural grid.” Appointed by main contractor Carillion,

specialist building envelope contractor Prater’s scope of works includes extensive roofing systems comprising inverted brown roofing and extensive green roofing, as well as over 2,500 m2

of waterproofing. In addi-

tion, Prater will also provide SFS and render rainscreen, windows, doors, louvres and composite cladding to courtyard areas of the site. “We’re delighted to have work underway

on such a large-scale project,” said Kate Prater, associate director for marketing at Prater.

Phase one of the two-phase, £15.4m project was completed earlier in the year, providing the scheme’s existing residents with 33 new, more energy efficient homes built to the council’s Space standards and Lifetime Homes standards. Careful consideration was made in

the design of the project to incorpo- rate colours and visual signs, such as “memory shelves” outside front doors and plenty of natural light. The gardens were also securely designed to enable residents to enjoy them safely. As well as these design features the

scheme includes Age UK’s day centre, communal facilities, a restaurant and an on-site hair salon. A resident-run shop is also in the pipeline. Tracey Kerly, chief executive of

Ashford Borough Council, commented on the project: “We’re very proud of what we have created here and are thrilled that it has been recognised with this award. The council has worked hard to design not just a shel- tered housing scheme but somewhere residents can really feel at home.” He continued: “With an increas-

ingly ageing population it is impera- tive for us to prepare for the growing demand on housing schemes and we are looking ahead to phase two of Farrow Court which will see a further 71 homes and eight recuperative care units being built on the site.”




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