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Glenn Howells wins planning for 'Third Age' housing towers

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Glenn Howells Architects has won planning approval for this five-tower scheme, housing 240 retirement homes, in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham

The Brassington Avenue project is backed by growing specialist developer PegasusLife, which is rolling out homes for the ‘discerning older generation’ across the country.

Other schemes are being drawn up for PegasusLife by RCKa in Seaford and Harpenden, Duggan Morris in Hampstead and Sevenoaks, and Design Engine in Winchester (AJ 19.11.13).

According to Glenn Howells the blocks will be clad in reconstituted stone and ‘rotated in response to views and infiltration of sunlight’.

The architect’s view

‘The towers are thoughtfully distributed to allow plenty of space and light into the residencies and the scheme also features interlocking and dual aspect balconies and generous open spaces in a carefully landscaped environment.

‘The two storey podium acts as a public frontage welcoming residents and visitors to the development and connecting the development to the townscape.

‘All of the entrances to the new buildings will face directly onto Brassington Avenue, bringing life and animation to the avenue.

‘The Avenue Level on the lower ground floor of the podium, with its soft landscaping and gabion walls, rises up to the Garden Level on the first floor. The Garden level houses generous open space for residents to enjoy, and it also acts as a hub for communal facilities, including a spa, swimming pool, a gym, relaxation rooms, restaurants and dining areas. The Garden Level offers an abundance of activities and opportunities to weave strength into the social fabric of the scheme, helping to foster a sense of belonging and neighbourliness – key features of a successful, close-knit community. 

‘The five towers will be constructed with reconstituted stone to suggest warmth and to reflect the domestic and welcoming feel of the scheme. The facade will have depth and will be punctured by ribbon windows framed with bronze-coloured aluminium, giving way to larger scale openings where they connect with the generous balconies. Inside, the apartments are amply proportioned and six metres of space between balconies above, allow for generous daylight to flow freely into the interiors. Each apartment is also highly flexible and able to adapt to the residents’ changing needs and space requirements, with moveable partition walls.

‘Led by Camlins Landscape Architects, the landscape is a fundamental part of the development, with mature landscaping to the western edge, an area of wetlands for sustainable drainage and planted banks to enhance the natural landscape setting. Most apartments will enjoy stunning views and the new Brassington Avenue will also be reinvigorated by the planting of big trees along the whole length of the street, creating a green corridor for local wildlife.’

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