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Architects take extra care with Brighouse development design

Work on the steel super-structure of a new extra care facility, on the former Salford Works site on Bramston Street in Brighouse, has started.

Designed by Brewster Bye Architects, the 65 one and two bedroom apartments for over 55s are being built by energy and regeneration specialist ENGIE for one of the UK’s largest providers of high quality housing and supported housing services – Home Group. The development will be complete by 2020. The majority of apartments will be let at affordable rent levels and five will be available through a shared-ownership scheme.

The new development will have a host of communal facilities including a kitchen, café, lounges, a hair salon, as well as staff and guest facilities. With a dementia focus within its design and layout, that reflect the principles outlined by the Government’s latest Housing our Ageing Population Panel for Innovation (HAPPI) report, the extra care scheme has raised the bar in terms of design.

Mark Henderson Director at Brewster Bye, said: “Our aim was to re-develop space that is currently derelict and inaccessible and create an attractive street frontage to Bramston Street, Thornhill Road and George Street, reinforcing the sense of place and character of the area, whilst also reflecting the industrial heritage of Brighouse and its influence on the town. We responded by applying a mix of contemporary architecture with contextual references to the local limestone buildings that are synonymous with the surrounding area. Combining these traditional stone influences with a modern bronze coloured cladding will create a sympathetic colour palette that reflects the past and present of Calderdale.

“The site is north facing looking towards the viaduct and river, with a significant slope falling from north to south, so it was really important for us to utilise the site characteristics and land levels to accommodate such a unique building, which varies in size from two to six storeys.

“The design includes plenty of amenity space through the inclusion of balconies, patios, community areas and private open space. It also incorporates significantly improved and safer pedestrian access links to and from the site, which is essential for people living here, who will want to walk to the bus stop, train station and all the surrounding local amenities.

“One of the stand out features of the home are the two atrium spaces which flood the depth of the building with natural light, whilst providing a visual link between floors. Other highlights include the winter garden, which is located on the fifth floor that connects the inside and outside, and a semi private courtyard garden on the fourth floor with raised planters that will provide a safe area that is easily accessible for residents to enjoy. The planters’ low walls double as benches, and the pathways leading round the courtyard, have a central focus and route back, so there are no confusing dead ends which is so important for people who have dementia. The seating areas along the path will give people a place to sit, chat and enjoy the planting and being outside. With so much thought going into the design, we are confident that the home will be a big hit with its new residents.”

Teresa Snaith, Head of Development (Supported), from Home Group, said: “The delivery team includes older people and people with dementia to give us an understanding of how the facility will be used, along with colleagues with supported housing and specialist mental health backgrounds as well as from Local Authority commissioning environments. Crucially everyone involved has delivered extra care housing previously, and have a wealth of experience of the design, development, delivery and management of schemes, with specialism around dementia specific extra care housing.

“There’s no doubt this will result in us creating an attractive yet robust building that is perfect for its setting and the people who will live here. The home will be low maintenance and energy efficient, but most importantly these affordable home will have quality design at their heart.”