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42 PROJECT REPORT: RETIREMENT LIVING & SOCIAL CARE


SOCIABILITY


Decks and a communal lounge to allow residents to cross paths and engage with each other


Images © PRP Architects LLP


The secure central courtyard provides a private place of respite that almost flows out into the park


not kitted out with those sorts of things,” says Hynds.


Sufficient space in the toilets and shower rooms was designed into the scheme in the event that tenants require a carer to assist them with daily tasks, and space under the washing basin to allow wheelchair users to access the sink. In terms of space more generally, the typical two-bed flat is over 70 m2


and the smallest is 55 m2 . PROJECT FACTFILE


Architects: PRP Clients: Hanover Housing Association, Hill Homes Value: £7.45m Size: 2,500 m2


“Compared to general needs housing,” remarks Hynds, “they are spacious.” Further accessibility is provided by the scheme’s level access throughout. Two lifts (one in the east wing and one in the west), level access showers, and wider doors also mean users can easily navigate the building in a wheelchair. Other than a single disabled vehicle parking space that gives access for deliveries and furniture for occupants, substantial onsite parking was not feasible due to space constraints. This is however offset by the extensive public transport that runs through the central London location. Says Hynds: “The location makes it naturally accessible for transport.”


A good degree of sociability has also been instilled into the scheme, with the decks and a communal lounge offering a number of spaces for fellow residents to cross paths


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and engage with each other. The secure central courtyard provides a private place of respite that almost flows out into the park beyond the railings, with the grass on either side establishing a visual connection with lively London Fields. Hynds adds: “There’s lots of activity in the park, giving residents the feeling that they’re part of it. You can go out and join in with those activities – it brings you into the community.”


Forecasting a trend Hynds admits that situating later-living accommodation in the heart of bustling Hackney appears on the surface to be an unorthodox decision. Recent GLA surveys indicate that over 55s in the Borough compose only 14 per cent of the local population, compared to 45 per cent below the age of 29. Despite this, Hynds sees a bright future for the demand of typologies nestled into urban contexts that host older occupants: “We are finding it’s becoming a lot more common. In the past, over 55s housing might be located out in the country.” He continues: “This notion that older people need peace and quiet isn’t necessarily true. Some people are used to the city and want to stay.” 


ADF APRIL 2019


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