Lawson House is a extra care scheme in Larkfield that replaces a 1960s’ 38-bed care home with a contemporary landmark building providing 74, one and two-bedroom apartments, 20 of which are solely available for rent to veterans.
Our design had to take into account the height of the surrounding buildings, a stepped site boundary to the north and a thick row of mature trees to the south and south-west. Our solution was a fragmented and stepped H-shaped building, which meets the client’s brief to maximize the use of the site.
On three floors, the building is accessed from the main car park at ground floor level. The entrance lobby has a large waiting area to the left and leads to a T-junction corridor with the kitchen, offices and escape staircase to the left and the buggy store, activity / training, therapy / hairdressing and assisted WC rooms to the right. The buggy store can also be accessed from the outside. Directly in front of the entrance lobby is the lounge / café – the hub of the building – which opens up to the sun lounge and landscaped garden beyond.
The materials used include brown brick, which is in keeping with the local buildings and also provides a feeling of solidity. The combination of articulated facades and the careful use of materials helps to break up the building, visually reducing its size and helping it to blend with its surroundings.
In September 2016, the Lord Lieutenant of Kent, Mayor of Tonbridge and Malling and a host of guests joined The Abbeyfield Kent Society, (now known as Rapport Housing & Care) to celebrate work starting on site for this scheme.
This project has been shortlisted for the Inside Housing Development Awards 2019:
Best affordable housing development (urban)
Best older people’s housing development (50+ homes)