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St Loyes, Exeter

By George Spreckley
M Wapr23 436026

St Loyes Extra Care Scheme was an innovative and socially inclusive project for Exeter City Council. It was specifically designed to help older residents maintain their independence in a safe, healthy and comfortable environment that offers varied levels of support. The scheme also specifically caters for dementia patients and was designed to support their specific needs.

Designed by Architype, this 4 and 5 storey building contains 53 units with either one or two bedrooms. There are also numerous other high quality facilities including communal lounges, dining rooms, hobby spaces, a music room, plus gardens. These spaces facilitate social inclusion, companionship, and a sense of community. There is also a restaurant, salon, and spa treatment room for members of the wider community to enjoy.

The external design creates engaging spaces with interesting colours and textures, including an intricate cut brick façade. This façade offers visual interest and definition with the brick detailing at the end gables articulating the horizontality of the forms. Meanwhile, banding to the first and fourth floors adds more horizontal emphasis.

Ibstock Birtley Olde English bricks were selected for the traditional red west wing of the building. The light coloured bricks on the east wing are Ibstock Mora Light Greys. These bricks complement the aluminium powder-coated balconies, balustrades, and clad timber windows. The window frames are hidden behind the brickwork to create an elegant, simple junction.

Overall the brickwork is fundamental to the design. It contains a number of specials with cut bricks, protruding bricks, and other brickwork components. The elevations are also characterised by a combination of traditional stretcher bond, vertical stretcher bond which continues around corners to expose the top side of the brick, and standard stretcher bond parapet with the top side out. This combination of projecting headers, projecting angle bricks, and unusual bonds creates a unique aesthetic.

Built by Kier Construction for Exeter City Council, this project was built to low-energy Passivhaus standard to meet the client’s Building Biology aspirations and promote sustainability. The design also complies with the council’s Design for Future Climate Change requirements to improve the resilience of the building and create a natural, healthy-living environment.

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