Preferred Homes Limited
Extra Care Homes Hucknall by Preferred Homes Limited
The Site is located in Hucknall, an established residential area. It is situated within Hucknall Town Centre, approximately 0.5 miles away from Hucknall railway station. It extends to approximately 0.558 ha (1.38 acres) within an urban context. It currently houses Hucknall police station, surrounded by mixture of residential and commercial buildings.
The main vehicular access is via Watnall road, with additional access via secondary roads at Bell-Isle Road. Pedestrian access is via the same access, with availability of bus stops serving the site.
The design brief was to provide a building for between 65-70 apartments and associated communal space, appropriate car parking and external amenity space. Various iterations of building design and orientation were considered during the pre-application process, whilst having regard to the identified constraints and opportunities. The Council Planners ultimately advised sufficient setback would be required from existing houses to prevent overlooking into neighbouring houses.
The various design options are identified in the sketches, including 3/4/5 storey buildings to try and achieve the required accommodation, massing and height. Balancing this need with concerns of Officers in respect of height and massing resulted in the split level design where the four storey element borders the existing Council car park with the three storey building bordering Grange Avenue.
Challenge & Solution
The building design has been adapted to suit the particular opportunities and constraints of the Site, namely the opportunity to align the Site with Watnall Road, to provide a new positive frontage to this road, while at the same time respecting the sensitivity of the adjacent community uses.
The proposed massing therefore focuses one wing (three storeys) fronting Watnall Road, and the second wing facing the houses along curtis street with sufficient buffer. This allows for the creation of an internal courtyard, which enables the apartments and internal communal spaces plenty of sunlight. The proposed design of the building responds to and accords with uses in the surrounding area.
The scheme delivers 71 extra care one and two bed apartments, amenity space and car parking in a manner that is sustainable and responds to the constraints and opportunities afforded by the site itself and its wider location, and the HAPPI building for life design criteria.
The scheme design compliments the surrounding uses and built form of the local centres, introducing a distinct green oasis in the form of the courtyard and roof gardens in what is a predominantly urban environment, at the same time creating a visual green link with the Mad Brook area to the west of the Site.
The building is designed in such a way to avoid a monotonous repeated elevation, but instead the variety of colours, materials and features break up its mass to smaller individual areas that define corners and gateways and personal space.
It enables interaction with the local community through a mix of communal and public spaces both within and outside the building. The gardens are well considered with their south facing aspect and elevated positions to provide a calm and tranquil environment for the resident to enjoy their homes and surroundings.
Innovation & Added-Value
Sustainability is at the heart of the proposals and respecting the environment is inherent in the design approach. The proposal recognises the opportunities that are available for sustainable design and the implementation of renewable energy, which also go to the very heart of the HAPPI design principles.