1C The Drive
Throughout its 70 year history Kind & Company has undertaken works for many prestigious clients across London and the south-east, therefore it was probably only time before we were offered the opportunity to deliver to one of the oldest charitable organisations in the country. The Walthamstow and Chingford Almshouse Charity (WCAC) can trace its roots back to the early 1500s and is rightly considered as an early provider of social housing. After nearly 490 years the charity still provides quality affordable housing to older people with predominantly longstanding local links.
Fast forward to 2016 and the expansion of the charity’s housing stock with a new building close to the traditional heart of Walthamstow village and the original almshouses funded by philanthropist Sir George Monoux in 1527.
Quality is inherent to the work and fabric of WCAC. It is here that Kind & Company is able to rise to meet their brief, the technical requirements and attention to detail.
The project at 1C The Drive, Walthamstow comprises of the design and construction of twenty new apartments for older persons including two with wheelchair access. The design takes into account many of the recommendations of the HAPPI report (Housing our Ageing Population: Panel for Innovation) of which the scheme architects, Pollard Thomas Edwards were closely involved. Existing residents were included as part of the design process and their wishes and observations were considered and incorporated where advantageous.
Each apartment comprises a large living room, double bedroom with en-suite bathroom and fully fitted kitchen adaptable for users’ needs. As expected from such a long established, forward looking client, building longevity and ease of maintenance are principal requirements. Alongside this traditional approach is a desire to encompass modern design thinking to provide an efficient, calm and supportive environment. The communal facilities include a guest suite for visitors and carers, a reception/ office and waiting area, a buggy store, WCs, launderette, therapy room, a garden room and spa bathroom/shower.
The option to pursue a contemporary design rather than emulate traditional almshouses was central to providing sustainable and forward-looking accom-modation. Previously a disused childrens’ home, the site was cleared of its existing structure, trees were protected and basement excavations undertaken. The four storey building is supported on reinforced concrete piles. The basement is formed with insitu suspended concrete slabs and the ground floor slabs are suspended precast concrete beam and block. The upper floor is formed with a lightweight construction supported by a structural steel frame. Outer finishes include buff coloured facing brickwork and quartz-zinc standing seam cladding and oak rainscreen cladding for the therapy room and garden room.
Internally, the building will be finished to a high specification with quality fixtures and fittings. White goods, sanitaryware and communal appliances are sourced from reliable branded ranges and the carefully thought through communications infrastructure includes TV, broadband and wifi.
Externally, several established trees remain integral to the visual aspect of the new almshouses. They will also benefit from a mix of hard and soft landscaping offering access and interest for the residents.
As with all projects, Kind & Company values developing and maintaining good relationships with all parties, including the client and their professional management team, supply chain, neighbours and local community. Open, face to face contact is central to achieving this as are industry recognised schemes such as the Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS). Our Greenwich Church Street project won a national CCS Bronze award in 2015 and Singlegate Primary School in Colliers Wood was recently voted runner-up in an annual CCS hoarding competition.
Speaking about the project, Tony Battle, Joint Managing Director of Kind & Company said, “As a local contractor it is a pleasure and an honour to be appointed to construct this fabulous building by such an important local charity.”
Jill Renshaw, who chairs the Charity’s Development Committee which oversaw the design and planning of the new building, also said, “We’ve worked hard to design a building which, like Sir George Monoux’s original almshouses, can stand the test of time. Our design team, led by architects, Pollard Thomas Edwards and managed by Nigel Franklin from CalfordSeaden have done a great job and having seen the quality of Kind’s work elsewhere, we are confident they will deliver just that.”
The estimated value is £5.1M with completion and handover scheduled for the 19 June 2017.
More information about the Walthamstow and Chingford Almshouse Charity is available [here]
A print version of this Project Focus is downloadable [here]
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