Beech Gardens, Ludlow, Shropshire
The site where the Beech Gardens development in Shropshire now sits was once a neglected collection of maisonettes and overgrown gardens. The project, by Shropshire Housing Group (now Connexus) in partnership with K4 Architects, was designed to transform the site, creating an independent living scheme that its residents could be proud of.
Based around the principles of social interaction and a sense of community, whilst also promoting health and wellbeing, the new development features 22 state-of-art one and two-bed apartments, with 4 two-bed luxurious bungalows, K4 Architects with Connexus re-imagined what an independent living scheme could be for its residents, designing the project to ‘HAPPI*’ principles (Housing our Ageing Population: Panel for Innovation), which adopts generous space standards, with adaptable floorplates, allowing the seamless integration of future care technologies within the home.
Residents enjoy both their own glass-fronted winter gardens which face out onto a central community garden, complete with raised vegetable beds and an area for playing boules. The apartments and bungalows have been designed to maximise light and space, while maintaining incredible thermal efficiency that has helped combat fuel poverty for elderly residents.
Another major feature of the development is the integration of passive solar gain with a high level of thermal efficiency and a photovoltaic array, providing power for shared spaces. These measures not only provide carbon reduction, but also help to combat fuel poverty for the elderly residents.
When specifying materials for a unique building such as Beech Gardens, it was important to create a unique and modern interior that was inviting and homely, all whilst being structurally sound and built to last. With interior designs being created for numerous spaces, such as reception areas, communal lounges and bathrooms, it was important that the products specified met the needs of each specific area. The Leicester Multi-Cream brick made by Ibstock, was used throughout the building and within both the interior and exterior of the build. Due to the versatility of the brick, the material naturally lends itself to a wide range of applications.
The brick is beautiful yet distinct, reflecting the raw textures of clay. Populated with tiny light specks across the surface, the material captures the organic beauty of the natural material. Another fantastic benefit of this material is that it preserves its appearance throughout its lifetime, all whilst keeping maintenance simple.