Moor’s Nook has transformed a neglected industrial lot in suburban Surrey into a convivial residential community for specialist retirement living developer PegasusLife.
The scheme, a 3400 sqm horseshoe shaped plan with 34 one and two-bedroom homes and a central communal landscaped courtyard, is located in central Woking. It is on a corner plot overlooking the leafy local cricket ground. Our brief was to replace a derelict laundry facility with a modern, over-60s community-focused residential development. PegususLife also asked that we achieve a target net internal area and design shared facilities that promote a sense of community. With our characterful and community-conscious proposals, we met and far exceeded these requests.
Ultimately, Moor’s Nook is a civic building and an intimate one. It holds the street corner and has visual presence from further afield, as a chimney rises to offer verticality in the urban realm. The folded roof affects the scale of the architecture and creates a residential motif, engendering a sense of home.
The architecture offers a generous north-facing courtyard to the city, the start of the building’s entrance sequence. Visitors and residents are led to an intimate and delightful interior courtyard accessed through a light-filled colonnade.
(Moor’s Nook was previously named Moor Courts.)
More than a building, a community
Moor's Nook has been considered from a position of social and environmental consciousness. From light to layout, material to massing, community comes first.
A slice of light
A carefully composed, light-filled colonnade slides between Moor's Nook's two courtyards, mediating between north light and south light, city and enclosed landscape, expanse and intimacy. This slice of light creates an enjoyable and complex entry sequence.
Courtyards help create community
Upon entry, the surprise of the internal landscape and change in scale is visceral; this is a place to relax, meet and commune. In tandem with the balcony access, the overhang of the roof reduces the scale of the architecture. Roof edges cast diagonal shadows within the courtyard to create a dynamic and yet centred feel.
All apartments are accessed off the central courtyard, creating an activated social space. Landscaping elements have been introduced to create subtle transitions from communal courtyard into private dwelling. These thresholds extend to the design treatment of the facade, which uses depth to create lobbies and incorporate bench seating.
Creating homes in housing
At Moor's Nook all homes are dual aspect, flexible, some enjoy double height space, and all enjoy living in contrast between the city and internal residents’ courtyard.
Views in, out and up
A long view into the colonnade dissolves the threshold of entry and changes privacy, creating a contrast between enclosure and view. Accessible from the colonnade is the host space, lift and single stair. Wall-lined seating allows for visitors and residents to wait, meet and interact with others.