Saunders Boston Architects designs community focussed accommodation for elderly

Saunders Boston Architects has utilised its experience and skills in the retirement and care housing sector to provide both architectural and interior design solutions for Reynolds Court – a 42 apartment refurbishment in Newport, Essex that aims to improve facilities for over 60s – which is now officially open.

The Sheltered Housing Scheme project was designed for Uttlesford District Council (UDC) in partnership with Lovell and Henry Riley. The contract for the project was awarded to Saunders Boston Architects in 2014 following a highly contested design competition.

Darren Heffer, Director of Saunders Boston Architects, said:

“We are delighted to have been a part of this exciting project from inception to culmination. Uttlesford District Council is a fantastic client that shares our passion for providing stimulating, safe and secure accommodation to local elderly residents.”

The flagship building, officially opened by Kemi Badenoch MP, contains 42 self-contained one and two bedroom apartments that prioritise space and lighting. Many of the new flats have balconies, and all flats contain wet rooms and fitted kitchens with built-in ovens, fridge freezers and laundry amenities. Commenting on the project, Heffer said:

“The design not only focussed on the apartments as individual units, but the social element of the building as a whole; there is a communal lounge, garden room, hairdressing salon and guest apartment, allowing the residents to become a community.”

Joy Kisberg, who moved into Reynolds Court from another local scheme in December 2017, said:

“I just thought it was breath-taking. It has everything you could ask for. The whole building is so well-planned. The flats, the facilities, the entrance and the outlook – they are fabulous. It looks beautiful. We are a real community, and that is so important.”

The building received planning permission in 2015 with a grant of just over £900,000 from Homes England and was built in two phases, during which residents of the existing building were able to stay on site for the 21-month build programme.

The development not only aimed to create improved, modern living conditions for residents, but also focuses on sustainability through the use of sedum roofs; which encourage biodiversity and improve drainage and thermal qualities, allowing for reduced energy use.

Heffer concluded:

“The scheme was delivered within budget, showing that quality does not have to be sacrificed for cost as long as a project is managed efficiently. The building has already been submitted for a number of awards; but, more importantly, is a win for residents, the local community and the Sheltered Housing Scheme as whole.”