Sanctuary’s Wolfson House development in Pimlico in London has been selected as one of Inside Housing’s Top 50 UK Affordable Housing Developments for 2014, achieving Exemplar status in the ‘Top Five Small Developments’ Category.
Wolfson House in Charlwood Street was completed in the spring of 2013 and comprises 24 affordable homes – 17 apartments for target rent and the remaining seven apartments for shared ownership.
The £5.3million scheme, which includes £2million grant investment from the Greater London Authority and Homes and Communities Agency, continues Sanctuary’s long tradition of providing affordable housing in Westminster.
The façade of Wolfson House was sensitively designed to reflect the Georgian splendour and historical heritage of the surrounding properties while the interior is more contemporary in style.
A high priority was given to energy efficiency and affordability at Wolfson House, with affordable central heating throughout, hot water provided by a connection to the Pimlico District Heating System, photovoltaic cells on the roof and the use of motion sensors, light wells and windows in the communal areas to keep lighting costs lower.
The scheme achieved Secured by Design, Lifetime Homes, a high Building for Life score (19 out of 20) and Code for Sustainable Homes – Level 4, while all the apartments met the London Housing Design Guide Standard, with three complying with wheelchair standard.
Peter Martin, Sanctuary’s Group Director – Property, said:
“We are delighted that Wolfson House has been recognised as one of the top 50 schemes for 2014 and I would like to congratulate our development team in London and all of our partners involved in the project for this outstanding achievement.”
He explained that the redevelopment of Wolfson House was certainly a challenge. While the land was owned by Sanctuary, the project involved the decant and demolition of an existing sheltered housing scheme, which required sensitive handling with extensive consultation and the support of many partners, including other housing associations operating in Westminster.
He praised Sanctuary’s architects, KCA, for a design that created optimum living space, inside and out for residents, with unusually generous space standards for central London homes, a large communal garden and secure bike storage. The Georgian façade was recreated using traditional materials and an innovative ‘Sesame Lift’ at the stepped Georgian porch entrance enabled level access into Wolfson House for wheelchair users and the less mobile.
Sanctuary’s construction partner Kier ensured that disruption to nearby residents was kept to a minimum and signed up to Sanctuary’s commitment to employ local labour, with the creation of six apprenticeships as well as work experience placements and site study opportunities.
David Gooch, Sanctuary’s Director of Development Operations – London, said:
“Wolfson House is a great example of what can be achieved with bespoke design, a high quality build specification, strong joint working with stakeholders, and sensitive resident and neighbourhood consultation.
“Achieving this top 50 place and Exemplar status means a lot to Sanctuary and confirms what Wolfson House residents have been telling us – that these new homes are ‘modern, spacious, bright and beautiful’ and a great place to live.”