Wimshurst Pelleriti’s independent living scheme in south-west London has won planning permission
Councillors at the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames granted consent to the local practice’s proposals for the 1,563m² Somerville House scheme in Twickenham.
The scheme will see the demolition of an existing two-storey sheltered accommodation facility, built in 1978 on the Rodney Road, which will be replaced by 24 modern one-bed units across a three-storey and a single-level building.
Backed by housing association RHP (Richmond Housing Partnership), the units would all be deemed affordable and reserved exclusively for people aged 55 or older.
Fulham-based Wimshurst Pelleriti’s design draws on RHP’s Living Standard, based on principles identified by the Housing our Ageing Population Panel for Innovation (HAPPI).
The design arranges timber clad blocks around a traditional ‘village street’ on each level, with winter gardens and seating aimed at encouraging residents to come out of their flats and be part of the community.
A landscaped garden will sit at the centre of the plot and shared facilities will be arranged to encourage a community feel.
All units are dual aspect to avoid an institutional corridor feel and to boost light and ventilation.
Wimshurst Pelleriti worked with consultancy David Bonnett Associates to ensure every unit is fully wheelchair accessible without needing to be oversized. All units will also be adaptable, meaning no complex building works will be required to cater for residents’ changing needs.
Practice founder Will Wimshurst said: ‘We hope that Somerville House will help to set a new standard of homes for elderly people in the borough.
‘By adhering to the principles of creating a less institutionalised and better-connected community, we will create more schemes that improve the lives of the senior citizens that live there.’
RHP executive director of development Tim Willcocks added: ‘It’s fantastic to have received planning for the redevelopment of this landmark retirement living scheme. This will provide exceptional new homes that are so crucially needed.’
Name of project Somerville House
Location Whitton, Twickenham
Type of project New Independent Living building. Elderly, residential, affordable.
Client RHP Housing Association
Architect Wimshurst Pelleriti
Start on site date First half of 2019
Gross internal floor area 1563m² over the three floors