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BUILDING PROJECTS


ROYAL NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF BLIND PEOPLE’S (RNIB) REDHILL SITE SURREY


A vision of inclusivity


Jack Wooler spoke to the architect of an innovative and sensitive housing project for a mix of visually impaired and open market residents, achieved on a challenging site in Surrey


W


ork is now underway at the Royal National Institute of Blind People’s (RNIB) Redhill site in


Surrey, a unique joint venture with developer Countryside to provide 102 dwellings for both the blind and the partially sighted, as well as open market residents.


Designed by Gardner Stewart Architects, the 6 hectare project is to host a mixture of 19 apartments and six houses specifically designed for RNIB residents with differing


ADF JUNE 2019


needs, alongside a host of contemporary new market homes and a community hub. Sitting in the Greensand Valley, the site has accommodated charitable services for almost 200 years, being previously owned by the Royal Philanthropic Society, and once hosting a school and a young offend- ers institute. The RNIB has owned and run the site for a number of years, using the land and buildings as a residential college for blind and partially sighted students from the mid-80s onwards.


Having two councils to deal with inevitably presented challenges to reaching a consensus, with two applications to submit, two sets of committee members to please


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