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DESIGN FOR AN AGEING POPULATION Design for dementia


Next to speak was Bill Halsall, of Halsall Lloyd Partners, the architect behind the ‘Chris and Sally’s House’. He began: “About four years ago Rob MacDonald of John Moores University and I worked with a group of people and published a book called Design for Dementia. Most people living with dementia live in their own homes. They live in the same communities, and use the same shops, as everybody else, so what we addressed is how can we help them live in their homes and sustain their capacity for longer, as well as maintain their quality of life as members of the community. That was the genesis behind Chris and Sally’s House. Rob and I were involved with a service-user group called SURF, and we worked in a very hands-on design participation way to evolve an ‘ideal’ design for the demonstrator home.” The key priorities that emerged for the house were that it: l Be ‘safe and secure’. l Provide a ‘familiar environment’. l Have a distinctive sense of place. l Be legible – and easy to find one’s way around.


l Be accessible for all disabilities. l Be both comfortable and stimulating.


‘Comfortable and stimulating’ Bill Halsall said: “I think most important of all was the idea of Chris & Sally’s House being both comfortable and stimulating. The house is – first and foremost – a


A sensor for occupancy detection and lighting control, which also provides temperature and air quality management.


demonstration project, within which – working with BRE – we are trying to incorporate all the features that might be good for people living with dementia. It will also provide an ongoing research platform. We see the home as a learning tool, and hope that people will come and visit as part of an ongoing experiment.” The architect explained that the adapted building was formerly part of an old stable block serving Bucknalls House, a Victorian house originally built for Henry Creed in 1855, and thus had never been a house before. He said: “We thus envisaged


A through-wall fanless vent with air flow paddle in the open position.


it as a ‘two-up, two down’ cottage of the type you will find in most parts of the country.” Among the ‘typical issues’ with such properties that the project team sought to overcome were: l The only bathroom is upstairs. l The bath is hard to get in and out of. l Stairs are ‘a struggle’. l Views of the garden are poor, and access to it difficult.


l Thresholds are not easy to cross in a wheelchair.


l Neither natural nor artificial lighting levels are ‘adequate’.


THE NETWORK | APRIL 2019


15


©BRE


©BRE


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