Client The Dulwich Estate
Location London, UK
Jestico + Whiles proposed a scheme of new sheltered housing for the elderly for the Dulwich Alms Houses invited competition.
A total of 23 self-contained residential units arranged around a sensory garden was proposed to the centre of the main landscaped external space. Additional self-contained units were also proposed within the adjacent existing house, which was proposed to be refurbished.
The scheme design heavily references historic alms-houses, where a simple language of wall, pitched roof, dormer windows and chimney are typically expressed around a communal courtyard space, giving access onto individual houses. In historic alms-house design it is often these chimneys in particular that give such developments their striking appearance and character.
Our design proposal looked to follow in this tradition but in a contemporary way, making a feature of these vertical elements, which were proposed here as natural ventilation chimneys to assist with passive ventilation to dwellings.
The external appearance proposed a simple palette of blonde brick and smooth grey roof tiles, accentuated with zinc detailing to dormer projections and dark metal railings to balconies.
This elegant but robust external skin draws its references from alms-house history but employs a wholly contemporary idiom.