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Building A Community Through Meticulous Design 


Vision Architects of Hampshire are about to see their detailed designs come to life on site at a former hospital in Redruth, Cornwall.

The site could have been a non-starter for many care home developers and architects. with a ±12 metre level change across the site, a site exit beneath a listed viaduct carrying the mainline railway between Bristol and Plymouth, redundant mine shafts, and a requirement to retain and repurpose two buildings of historic interest.

Planning Committee Member Andrew Mitchell was quoted by CornwallLive as saying he thought it was a “brilliant” application.

Challenges – Seen and Unforeseen

Vision Architects built a physical model to understand and explain the level changes, contours, and scale of the site to better discuss design issues, opportunities, and options with the client.

Extensive design development, research, testing of layouts and inventive design, Vision Architects developed a three storey solution, with the main entrance, staff and service area on the lowest level lifting the residents bedroom and communal spaces above the irregular site contours enabling a flat floor plate to be provided with level access to a private secure garden space and increase the initial requirement for residents bedrooms from 42 to 52.

Adopting a three storey scheme allowed Vision Architects to develop a hotel style concept with a ‘front’ and ‘back’ of house connecting nursing and support staff to the service areas with a dumb waiter, refuse chute and lift.

Making A Difference For The Residents 

Separating clean and dirty pathways on the upper residential floors with vertical service cores allowed Vision Architects to manipulate the floor plan, improve the environment and layout for the residents and also create a sense of privacy and security as residents and guests progress through public shared spaces, semi-private, to private bedroom spaces.

The irregular floor plan and three storey arrangement means that each bedroom, shared space, or activity space receives direct sunlight during the day and none of these spaces, or neighbouring residential properties, overlook the refuse store or service yard as it is concealed below the building.

A ’cloister’ style corridor to the private bedrooms on each floor overlooks a small secure garden space which brings sunlight into the main bedroom areas and creates a circular route removing the ‘dead end’ corridor prevalent in many care homes, reducing travel distances from the nurses station, and also providing an exercise circuit for residents with stopping places.

Designs that Demand Attention 

Transferable skills gained from designing a range of building types has enabled Vision Architects to visualise and develop a master plan for a scheme that responds to an awkward site and satisfies the specific needs of each building type, in particular the care home.

Attention to detail by creating a variety of public, private, quiet, noisy, or active internal spaces to the care home manages the functionality of the building and provides uplifting and bright spaces for residents and visitors, which are directly connected physically and visually to the mature landscaped site from both the ‘village green’, revealed on entering the site, and from the extensive balconies accessible from the communal dining and lounge spaces.

By bringing new life and employment to this former hospital site in the centre of Redruth, the development supports the increasing demand for modern care and specialist care facilities across Cornwall. It is anticipated that the investment will have a positive economic impact on the local area with a scheme that also sits comfortably within the local built environment.