Our designs for specialist retirement developer PegasusLife Cobham Bowers replace the existing Glashaus, a two-storey commercial office, with a light-filled, contextually sensitive building that includes 53 high-quality and homely flats.
Following an assessment of the site and nearby Cobham Village, our early conceptual ideas focused on a strong sense of identity, setting and enclosure, a place for residents to live within a connected community.
We have carefully considered the key characteristics of the area and the site parameters to identify design and development principles. Our work focuses on providing visibility and presence from the road, a strong identity and brand, a sense of security enclosure and ownership, views to the park and broad access to daylight.
Inspired by the village
We drew inspiration from nearby Cobham Village, instilling a strong sense of identity using form, setting and enclosure. We have created home community for older residents to feel connected.
The walled garden as a concept
Taking inspiration from the nearby Painshill Park, a walled garden sits between the two residential buildings, enclosing all the public and communal functions from the more private areas. Within the walled garden sits a light-filled entrance pavilion welcomes residents and visitors and encourages social interaction. The walled garden strengthens the concept of security, ownership and sanctuary.
The profiled, pitched volumes reduce the overall visual impact on the site and at the same time create a strong presence that responds to the surroundings in an authentic way. Borrowing the Arts & Crafts motif of dominant public facing gables, the mass has been articulated so that each of the four views towards the site are addressed with a ‘main facade’, thus removing any ‘back’ faces to the scheme.
Floorplans that foster community
Within each floor the layout is separated into smaller community lobby spaces with access to four flats. A void next to the stairs and a large skylight at the top allow sunshine into the centre of the building and provide another great place for social interaction and communal living.
Materials that get better with age
Rather than mimic a historic appearance, the scheme makes use of contemporary materials that present a similar quality as the historic surroundings. Such qualities manifest through a robust nature, hierarchical definition and weathering patina. The end result is a building of maturity and sophistication.