A new retirement village presents a unique set of challenges, with community cohesion being the key. Typically, retirement dwellings tend to be low-rise and relatively densely spread, with only a few physical differences between the houses. The way in which the plots relate to each other, and the treatment of the spaces between them needs to be a priority in the design.
For Terlingham Gardens, the houses we designed are multi aspect, with one side facing a conventional street with front doors and access for vehicles, refuse collection, and residents and visitor parking. The built form of each house projects to the side to provide a view to the street from the kitchen at the rear, across covered parking. This avoids the common problem of single storey developments having only small bedroom windows to the front. This can create less active frontages with no connection to the street from within resulting in a sterile street environment that in turn can make an area feel less safe.
To the rear, the open plan living spaces look out onto private terraces that sit within a cluster spilling onto lushly landscaped communal gardens that all benefit from lengthy southern vistas. Paths through these gardens connect the dwellings with each other, and to the meandering walks that will link the various clusters once the later phases are complete.
The clusters feature only two house types which were designed and sited in a way which ensures every view is richly diverse, despite the shared external treatment.
Once fully complete, the clusters will sit alongside a large formally arranged green public space, with communal facilities housed within the large hub building. The full village will be comprised of 62 houses, 72 apartments and associated leisure facilities.
The second phase is currently under construction, with the final phase expected to be commenced in 2019.