The Patron’s Award was presented to The Sir Roger Manwood Trust for the Manwood Orchard Almshouses, a series of four single storey almshouses designed by Canterbury-based Clague Architects.
HRH The Prince of Wales is patron of the Almshouse Association, the national charity which represents 1,700 independent almshouse providers throughout the UK, offering homes for 35,000 people.
The almshouses in St Stephen’s Green, a conservation area in the city, have a courtyard garden facing the back of the original six almshouses built in 1570 by benefactor Sir Roger Manwood.
The Sir Roger Manwood Trust previously provided eight Grade II listed almshouses for the elderly in historic buildings, two miles from Canterbury Cathedral.
Roger Power of The Sir Roger Manwood Trust, said: “Clague more than fulfilled the brief to design buildings that would maximise available space, blend in with the original 16th century almshouses and provide a community garden and car parking.
“Everybody is delighted with the design and quality finish of the new buildings. Residents are very happy to be living in the accommodation and to feel part of a small community.
“The Trustees believe the original benefactor Sir Roger Manwood would very much approve of the style and design of the additional units and the ongoing benefit to the local community.”
Clague, in conjunction with the trust, Canterbury City Council and Historic England, brought forward a design in a style sympathetic with the existing Tudor buildings and planned to foster a community spirit amongst all residents.
Tim Wolfe-Murray, Partner at Clague, said: “Only one Patron’s Award was made this year. This is the third time that a project undertaken by the firm has been recognised by Prince Charles and reflects our longstanding work with many almshouse providers, as well as our experience in working sensitively in conservation areas.
“The Tudor almshouses with their narrow stairs are unsuited to anyone with mobility problems, but the new design is wheelchair accessible throughout, including the car park and garden.”
The team at Clague incorporated sympathetic design into the new almshouses by referring to detailing on the existing two storey almshouses, using the parapet walls to project the end gable wall upwards above the roof.
The design of the almshouses caters for the able bodied and those with mobility problems – thanks to fully fitted kitchens and wet rooms, plus external recharging spaces for mobility scooters and ramped level access around the building.
High levels of energy efficiency were incorporated with air source heat pumps and underfloor heating to keep the buildings warm.
Posted on | by Pat Mills