BEN’s 19 acre site in Ascot straddles the parish boundaries of Sunninghill and Sunningdale in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead. The site was the home of BEN’s head office but primarily operated sheltered accommodation and Care home facilities in a disperse arrangement of Period and 1960s buildings that were either in need of extensive refurbishing or replacement.
Prior to our appointment BEN had worked with other Architects and considered options for the site. The brief was to deliver a care village which would provide innovative care and sustainable design whilst providing high buildings of a high quality to embrace the ever-evolving demands of existing and future residents. It was important for the Charity to maximise the potential of their valuable real estate in this very desirable location.
The brief evolved whilst working with the Client through many meetings with all parties in the Development team; clear objectives and direction of a design evolved. A scheme quickly developed providing a 102-bed care home, 138 apartments, 10 cottages and a new head office for BEN. The design had to take account of existing cottages, ancient woodland, extensive dispersion of mature trees. Most importantly the brief and finished design required all existing residents to be retained on site during the initial construction, achieved with a design to accommodate this, through phased construction but also achieving a completed and fluid village layout and design upon completion.
The finished scheme provides a retirement community extending radially across the 19 acre site with all individual buildings linked and accessible via internal glazed walkways and atria, enabling residents’ ease of across the extent of the village. The size and density of the development required to make the project financially successful, influenced the design and response to diminish the mass of building into smaller apartment blocks which are linked whilst radiating from the main access.
Facilities at the village are extensive, and can be enjoyed by all residents, families, visitors and the staff. Included within the Communal Hub is Prescotts’ Restaurant, street café, Multi-faith room, library, cinema, hairdressers, complimented by full health and well being facilities including large swimming pool, Gymnasium, Physiotherapy suite, Hydrotherapy pool, beauty and massage salon.
Residents and staff can also share in the many activities within the atrium and outside recreational spaces including bowls, snooker, chess, croquet, archery and gardening including allotments, with different activities and landscaping between each building.
The development is a What House Gold Winner 2015 and was officially opened in April 2018 by their patron HRH Princess Alexandra.