The founder of Evermore, Mrs Sara McKee, asked us to provide a fresh design approach to housing and support for older people, and those living with dementia.
Neither a retirement village nor a care home model, our proposal rejects institutionalised design in favour of creating a family home environment to accommodate people who are typically on their own and finding it increasingly difficult to cope without help. The primary building, designed as four small households, provides this family-style environment for older people, with each household planned for between 9-12 people.
Crucially, we successfully helped to create a new way of living in later life, because as well as a one-bedroom apartment with a balcony, living area, kitchenette and separate bedroom with en-suite, each resident also has easy access to a communal lounge and open plan kitchen with large dining table to promote interaction and activity. To further enhance mental health and well-being, the communal spaces and circulation areas look onto a central landscaped courtyard and gardens.
The design was undeniably contemporary with an architectural skin finished in a combination of terracotta and grey glazed enamel strip tiles. The colours paid tribute to the historic buildings of Wigan and blended seamlessly into the surrounding Dicconson Conservation Area in Wigan town centre, in close proximity to several locally listed buildings.