Former Cumberland Hotel Site
February 13, 2020
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Betty Entwistle


St. Albans, Hertfordshire

Hill Residential & BPHA


Betty Entwistle

GHM were appointed by Hill to provide post-planning architectural services for this redevelopment of a retirement apartment scheme in St Albans. The existing site is to be developed to provide 40 modern homes, in a specifically designed building, for people who need the assistance of carers.

These purpose-built flats are for people aged 55 or above or, people over 40 who are physically disabled. The scheme is designed as a ‘mixed use flexi-care’ building where the residents are able to live independently with assistance when needed. These units are intended to be non-institutional, these are homes first and foremost and they will provide an enabling environment for the residents. There are limited communal facilities within the scheme to promote the mix of the residents and to create a community. The communal, shared facilities include a lounge, guest room, pamper room and associated staff accommodation.

The building design is contemporary, yet respects the immediate context. The palette of materials has been selected with reference to the surrounding environment; the materials are timeless and durable, they will weather and age well. Brick detailing will provide additional interest and will help to break up large areas of façade.