This nursing home was built to provide care for forty elderly mentally-infirm people, who were previously in the wards of the huge Tooting Bec Hospital. Whilst ensuring safety, security and privacy the design aims to afford maximum freedom and dignity to the residents, most of whom suffer from dementia. The home’s human scale is set by its four houses, each with two five bedroom wings and a secure garden nestling in the crook of the ‘L’ they form. Although the building is on two floors the sculpted landscape design making use of spoil left on the site from previous demolitions allows level access from the houses to their own gardens, whether on ground or first floor.
Each ten bedroomed house has its own living, dining, quiet room and kitchenette as well as staff and ancillary spaces. A central theme of the design has been to aid orientation while stimulating the senses: spaces have different qualities of light, space, colour and acoustic treatment; surfaces, such as support rails, and door handles are of different textures in different places.
The houses are joined at the entrance with glazed link, which gives a glimpse into the central formal garden. The two-storey buildings are constructed of externally insulated and rendered masonry on a brick base, with painted timber windows and a profiled aluminium roof.