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pannel croft, newtown, birmingham

This project for The ExtraCare Charitable Trust formed part of the wider vision for the regeneration of Newtown in Birmingham which was developed to support the Aston, Newtown and Lozells Action Plan. It provides 180 extra care apartments for people aged 55 years and older.

Extensive communal facilities include Village Hall (dancing, fitness classes, bingo), worship room, shop, hairdresser, launderette, bar and restaurant (social interaction), library and IT, craft facilities and woodwork room (for development of new skills). The communal facilities quickly became known as the Village Centre and were subsequently designed as a ‘place of destination’ for residents, where they could meets friends, form new friendships, embrace new skills and play an active role in the life of the building. They were laid out in the form of a ‘village street’ and included street furniture, trees and lighting etc.

The community engagement process for this development was a complex and in depth exercise. We consulted the each sub-culture individually on many factors including specific aspirations for independent living in later years, diverse individual cultural needs, values and lifestyles. This early process allowed the integration of all views and assisted in establishing the design objectives to facilitate cross-cultural interaction and coexistence within the Village.

The existing site was predominantly bounded by two and three story semi and terraced residential properties, and two and three storey light industrial buildings. The western boundary overlooked green open space. The proposal aimed to respond to this and so the design evolved so that the building layout placed the communal facilities to the west overlooking the open space, and the residential properties linked to them overlooking the wider public realm. The residential layout was further developed to reflect the urban grain with the mass broken up by the use of stair cores. This approach resulted in a form that naturally ‘lended’ itself to a courtyard layout within which the landscaping and car parking were integrated, adopting a ‘Homezone’ approach.

key facts

  • Village Street providing opportunities to socialise, explore and develop new skills, and maintain a healthy lifestyle
  • Multi-cultural development which required an informed design approach
  • The development formed part of the wider regeneration for the Newtown area
  • Contract Value £22million

for more details contact:

  • Wendy Griffin for Architectural Services on 01902 398222
  • Peter Griffin for Architectural Services on 01902 398222