Hightown Housing Association commissioned TFP to draw up proposals for Elmshall Place which incorporates 58 Extra Care flats to replace Beaufort House, an office block in St Albans.
Beaufort House, which is in a conservation area, had been vacant since 2009. Planning permission was granted to demolish this office block and replace it with the residential units on the basis that there is an identified need for Extra Care housing in the area and that attempts to re-let the building for office use had failed.
Elmshall Place consists of two linked blocks of one and two-bedroom flats. The main lobby is the heart of the building and gives a welcoming and open feeling to residents and visitors. The lounge is directly in front with a café, kitchen, staff room, kitchen office and WCs to the right and office, buggy store, disabled WC, spa, hairdressing and store to the left. The lounge links the two blocks and opens up to the rear landscaped garden. The layout allows for a clear demarcation between public and private spaces.
As the site is in a conservation area, care has been taken to ensure the design preserves and enhances the character of the surrounding area. The bulk of the building is of red brick broken up with thru-colour render and cladding panels. The render and panels help emphasise the vertical elements of the building, while contributing to the articulated facades.