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Witherford Watson Mann wins go-ahead for elderly housing

Witherford Watson Mann's Bermondsey Almshouse
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Witherford Watson Mann has won planning for this almshouse development in Bermondsey, London


According to the Stirling Prize-winning practice, the 6,152m² scheme for United St Saviour’s Charity is a ‘progressive social model for elderly housing’ and ‘sets a new benchmark for the design of housing for the older generation’.

The almshouse will be built on the site of the vacant, post-war nursing home and will provide independent living accommodation for 90 people along with 200m2 of communal facilities.

The development includes 51 one-bedroom apartments and six two bedroom apartments alongside a community lounge, café, residents’ lounge, craft room, laundry, therapy room, hairdressers salon, and meeting spaces.

The five-storey building is organised around a central garden courtyard and all residents approach their homes along a glazed walkway that opens up onto the green space.

A dual aspect community lounge and café open onto the garden while being articulated on the main street elevation as a two-storey glazed bay.

At the rear the building steps down to meet the surrounding terraced homes with a two-storey wing featuring roof gardens with raised planted beds.

Witherford Watson Mann’s Stephen Witherford, said: ‘Our almshouse reinvents this classic building type for the 21st Century. This will be a very urban building that is active, open and in direct contact with the street. Loneliness has a huge impact on older people, and we have created opportunities for sharing and sociability throughout the almshouse.’

Witherford Watson Mann's Bermondsey Almshouse

Witherford Watson Mann’s Bermondsey Almshouse

Project data

Location Southwark, London
Type of project elderly housing
Architect Witherford Watson Mann
Client United St Saviour’s Charity
Area 6,152m²

Witherford Watson Mann's Bermondsey Almshouse

Witherford Watson Mann’s Bermondsey Almshouse

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Why is it that these elderly people are getting to enjoy plants, while all of the young people are forced to inhabit sterile, rational, sealed boxes? please Architects, find space for plants in all your buildings. They are so many benefits to doing so.

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