From the start we worked to a very clear and focused brief: ‘create the best for our veterans and lay the foundations for the second century of RBLI’s important work’.
The need to provide accommodation for veterans who are either wounded, injured, sick, or at risk of homelessness, is a priority for RBLI. We used our experience in designing assisted living schemes, care homes and even almshouses, to bring forward plans for Victory House and Invictus Games House – the first phase of the Centenary Village.
The apartments are bright, spacious, and each has been perfectly adapted with wide corridors and doorways – important for residents who have life-changing injuries as a result of their service. There’s also disabled access to the garden designed by Jo Thompson which won a ‘Gold-medal’ at Chelsea Flower Show.
The 24 one and two-bed apartments were built at a cost of £4m with support from Morrisons Foundation, the Army’s National Charity, and others. They were officially opened by Kent MP and former Secretary of State for Defence, Rt Hon Michael Fallon. We were given the freedom to create a design that embraced veteran’s service and their needs, and is considered by RBLI to be a benchmark building for its future housing developments.
Now fully occupied, Victory House and Invictus Games House are home to veterans, some of whom work at Britain’s Bravest Manufacturing Company, the charity’s social enterprise, with its factory in the original RBLI village.
We worked alongside Betteridge & Milsom, the quantity surveyor and cost consultants based in Canterbury, on the first phase. The quality of the design led to the apartments being a finalist in the 2019 RICS Awards South East.