Ford Gilpin Riley Architects
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Residential Care Home, Exmouth

Client: Brandon House
Area: 1,089 m²
Stage: Pre-Construction
Building costs: circa £1.5m
Description: New Build


The proposal involves the erection of a new Residential Care Home building containing 24 Bed-Sitting Rooms and associated ancillary accommodation as well as the improvement of the existing access to the site and the provision of screened off-street car and cycle parking. The site is located within the built-up area boundary of the town and lies within the area known as “The Avenues”, which has been identified as a “residential area of special character” within the adopted East Devon Local Plan.

The new design adopts a compact form which enables it to be sited within the confines of the prevalent northerly and southerly building lines within this part of Douglas Avenue. The design is in the form of a detached building arranged on 4 floor levels. Due to the split-level topography of the site the lowest floor level is a semi-basement. The upper level is partly contained within the roofspace. This has assisted with the aim of keeping the overall bulk of the building to a minimum. A key element of the arrangement is the location of the access staircase and lift at the “core” of the layout. This allows all habitable spaces to be arranged around the perimeter of the building. It also creates a very efficient layout. In addition, its modest plan-depth offers more opportunities for views between the buildings and therefore a much greater sense of space benefit from plenty of natural light, sunshine and fresh air. The property will be built to modern standards, with high levels of insulation and incorporating the latest thinking on passive energy technology. The internal layout of the Bed-Sitting Rooms has been carefully planned and reflects modern aspirations. The average area of the Bed-Sitting Rooms including the en-suite shower room is 28 square metres.

The selection of exterior materials has been carefully considered as an integral part of the overall design and generally come from the traditional palette present within “The Avenues”. The use of a red-brown ‘multi’ brick takes its lead from the nearby buildings to which the new structure is closely related. Contrast is achieved by the sparing use of areas of sharp white render, which lends the composition a more contemporary feel. A ribbed metal roof finish is a reference to the former “Rolle College” buildings, whilst the use of “Portland Stone” string courses on the superstructure strikes a more decorative theme. Further articulation is provided by the use of a contrasting material to form the building’s “plinth”. This will comprises of textured grey masonry, which will pick-up on the theme of the extensive Limestone walling nearby.

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