NorthStar has designed a new 48 bed care home in Chippenham for Pilgrim’s Friend Society; this is the first project in a programme that will see much of the society’s stock improved or re-provided across the whole of their estate across the UK.
The Christian charity undertook significant research and studied examples of elderly and dementia care best practice to make sure that its re-provisioning programme would offer best in class accommodation and be future-proofed for years to come.
The society’s brief to NorthStar was for the new care home to be generally domestic in scale, attractive and welcoming in appearance. It should facilitate basic life-affirming things such as enjoying the natural environment, enjoying the health-giving benefits of natural daylight and living in safe, domestic-scale accommodation.
NorthStar’s director of development, Danny Sharpe, says: “We wanted to design these units in such a way that they would evoke memories of home and familiar settings. By providing visual clues and clear lines of sight at key areas the layout helps residents with ‘wayfinding’ around the building.
"The greatest design challenge we faced was reconciling the desire for small, familial, domestic scale units with the need for easy access to the large communal areas used for activities and daily devotions. We then had to add an additional layer of circulation for back of house servicing so that staff could move freely from one ‘household’ to the next without going through another ‘household’.
The society hopes that the new building will encourage contact with the wider community, family, friends and churches. The new home has a large communal area with a café / bistro, activities rooms, hairdressers, sensory room and offices. The planning application is currently with Wiltshire District Council and a decision is expected in the spring.