Residents move into Pilgrim Gardens – Award winning housing for older people

PRP’s award winning Pilgrim Gardens’ scheme for older people for Pilgrims’ Friend Society has now completed and residents have begun to move in. PRP was last year awarded a prestigious Housing Design Award for the design of this scheme of 31 homes in Evington.

Pilgrims’ Friend Society has been providing housing and care to elderly Christians at Pilgrim Gardens, Evington since the 1950’s. There was originally a care and nursing home and 14 dated bungalows on the site but PRP’s scheme remodeled the existing care home to provide 30 en-suite care bedrooms to current standards, and replaced the bungalows with 31 Assisted Living apartments.

The two storey new building is designed to face the existing care home and complete a secure courtyard garden. The Assisted Living apartments are connected to the existing care home via a covered link which provides cover and shelter to the entrances of each building whilst securing and constraining the central landscaped garden.

Inside the entrance is a vibrant space with a double height atrium, seating, hairdresser and views into the communal lounge, terrace and courtyard garden beyond. The communal lounge is a single storey building within the courtyard thereby enabling a generous floor to ceiling height and a green roof. A covered outdoor area provides a sheltered loggia which leads onto to a generous terrace.

Dual aspect apartments are accessed via sheltered colonnades at ground floor and gallery access at first. The layout is logical and calm, wrapping around the courtyard with constant views outside to aid orientation. The apartments are orientated to avoid north facing habitable rooms and all have balconies with sliding, folding winter-gardens to enable year round use.

The design of the assisted living embraces all of the HAPPI recommendations:

  • The apartments benefit from generous internal space standards with flexible layouts and ample storage.
  • Natural light and ventilation to all rooms is possible via dual aspect apartments, optimum orientation and large areas of windows.
  • Apartments are accessed via open deck circulation with natural lighting and ventilation. Seating areas within this space encourage connectivity with the community and courtyard garden.
  • All apartments have a generous private balcony/ winter garden.
  • All apartments are ‘care-ready’ with adequate space, structure and technology to meet future needs.
  • Pilgrim Gardens already has a strong community focus and this will be reinforced by the provision of a new multipurpose communal lounge/ activity space.

PRP’s Director, Clare Cameron, commented:

“It’s fantastic to see the scheme executed to such a high quality and to see the residents so happy – the scheme has a real community feel.”

Louise Morse, Marketing Manager, Pilgrims’ Friend Society added:

“Talking with the occupants it’s clear that the design is working in the way we had planned. Occupants are delighted with their new homes and with the layout of the building and the garden. Of particular interest is the meeting lounge. The design and the size are just right; people are beginning to meet and make friends there without feeling any sense of intrusion.”

Among the first couples to move in were David and Phyllis Bulbeck. Mr Bulbeck commented:

“We know we’ve done the right thing moving here. We’ve already begun to make friends and everything is so convenient for us.”

The landscape design for the garden has an oriental theme incorporating a sequence of distinctive spaces including a shaded moss garden, water terrace and Acer grove and a formal lawn with a retained mature Lime tree at the centre. In addition to passive design features, the new building will provide 15% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions via renewable technology (PV and CHP).

Ref: 79220