Three is the magic number!

This month we are celebrating successful planning approvals for three new care facilities on behalf of our long-standing valued client, Highwood.

Each project faced the challenge of being located on the settlement edge and adjacent to sensitive landscapes. As landscape architects, we thrive on finding solutions that enable people and nature to live side by side. Below is a summary of each project and how we created opportunities to connect with the natural environment to help reinforce health and well-being for residents, families and care-providers alike.

Moorhill, West End, Southampton

Moorhill Care Home is situated on the edge of Southampton settlement area, nestled between 50-acre Telegraph Hill SINC and two adjacent infrastructure reservoirs. The 70-bed care home will provide residents with a series of landscape courtyards and outdoor recreational activity areas incorporating a more holistic approach to wellness whilst responding to the sensitivity of the surrounding wooded nature reserve.

Following workshops with local Design Review Panel peers, the proposal adopted a contemporary style using local materials to complement the earthy tones of its surroundings, whilst the building’s U-shaped orientation provides panoramic views across a central green. Complete with focal tree and ornamental planting, this area and adjacent dining terrace provides residents with opportunities to host social events whilst providing identifiable location features to assist with more vulnerable residents’ orientation. In response to the sensitivities of the neighbouring nature reserve, the eastern boundary features a more natural forest setting.

Meandering paths and seating areas provide residents with safe spaces of quiet contemplation in which they can interact with the transitional forest boundary in a safe and secure environment. Complete with sustainable drainage features such as rain gardens and attenuation basins, the eastern boundary aims to mimic the forests beyond through native understorey and grassland planting transitioning scrub and native tree planting along the boundary edge, reintroducing habitat pathways within a previous brownfield site and reinforcing the wider SINC habitats beyond. 

Alton, Hampshire

Forming a key gateway to the Town, the new care facility for Hartford Care will include a 67-bed care home & 28 apartments alongside a new community park located next to the Watercress Railway Line. Inspired by the Towns heritage, our competition-winning design was chosen by the public as part of the community engagement events.

Nestled within a gently contoured sunken bowl, designed to shield against road noise disturbances, the architectural concept embraces the integration of weathered steel, reminiscent of the railway line’s character. This choice of material, combined with the deliberate cultivation of indigenous flora, culminates in a canvas that intricately weaves together a narrative celebrating the Town’s rich heritage while simultaneously enhancing accessibility to The Writer’s Way.

Every facet of the design converges harmoniously to pay homage to Alton’s storied past. The forms and textures artfully echo the spirit of the railway, crafting an eloquent visual dialogue with history. Thoughtfully incorporated quotes by Jane Austen interwoven across the design serve as literary signposts, merging with the adjoining trail. Additionally, the inclusion of hops and wildflowers further amplifies the unfolding tale of Alton and celebrating its past.

Storrington, West Sussex

Nestled on the edge of the village with views across to the South Downs National Park, the new 60-bed care home and 8 bungalows for Barchester Healthcare will provide a much-needed benefit to the local community and growing age of the population.

The arrangement of the landscape design and building placement has been thoughtfully orchestrated to create a visual ‘book end’ to the settlement’s boundary. This careful landscape scheme not only adds to the scenic beauty but also contributes to a coherent architectural composition. The design incorporates an overall increase in the number of trees planted, along with strategically positioned courtyards. These courtyards serve to enhance the connection between the modern agriculturally-inspired architectural style and the surrounding environment.

This style seamlessly incorporates locally sourced materials such as flint, redbrick, and burnt oak facades, which play a dual role. Firstly, they ease the overall visual mass of the buildings, rendering them more visually agreeable within the context. Secondly, these materials align with the rural surroundings, allowing the architecture to gracefully blend into the surroundings.

Through all three projects we worked closely with Harris Irwin architects and with the wider design team to provide three unique designs that reinforce the sense of place but adopt our best practice approach to care orientated design. We look forward to supporting Highwood through the construction stage and seeing these landscapes become reality.

Learn more about the importance of landscape in creating health and well-being for our growing age population here: Care

#Placemaking #Healthandwellbeing #ChooseLandscape