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Plans to create a one-of-a-kind later living scheme have been submitted

London-based architects have thought up a nature-inspired project that would provide top quality care for older people and be kind to the environment.

WGP Architects have put forward a planning application this week to create a 64-bedroom care home, which would replace a disused former hotel in a semi-rural area in West Suffolk.

landscape photography of brown mountain

The new home, which would be located on the outskirts of Haverhill, according to architects would be ‘nestled’ into a space surrounded by trees and would be constructed using layered timber cladding. In addition, the site would also offer views of nature from all rooms and corridors to ensure all residents feel as relaxed as possible.

In a design and access statement, the architects say the extensive glazing, used to encourage engagement with the landscape, has undergone solar radiation analysis to avoid overheating risks, which are mitigated by horizontal shading devices and a proposed green roof.

Following this, inside of the building lounging chairs and activity spaces have been positioned at the out-ward facing corners of the building to assist orientation for people living in the home with dementia.

However, whilst aspects of the proposed care home seem to be beneficial to residents and the environment, constructing the home may not be so great for toxic air pollution levels. Existing buildings on the site would be demolished to make way for three linked accommodation blocks stepping down the gradually sloping site.

According to recent research around 50% of emissions that come from buildings are created during construction and demolition.

Despite this, the scheme has now been submitted to Braintree District Council with a decision due to be released in early autumn.

Director of WPG Architects, Phil Waind, said: ‘We have balanced natural constraints such as site topography and tree locations to really drive a narrative that we feel brings huge benefits to residents, visitors, and staff.

‘All our care homes focus on usability, buildability, sustainability, and a sense of connection with nature wherever possible, as we know how universal these factors are to safeguarding the delivery of a good building that promote wellbeing for all.’

Image: Wil Stewart

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