The Barnet Group’s service for older people, Ansell Court has been shortlisted for a Housing Design Award.

Ansell Court is a dementia-specific, housing with care development comprising 53 one and two-bedroom apartments and communal facilities. The development is situated in a prime location in Mill Hill, offering easy access to a range of local amenities. The building has a fresh contemporary quality which is sensitively integrated into its setting.

The design responds to the urban grain of the adjacent residential properties creating what appears as a series of semi-detached brick dwellings. Traditional architectural features such as gable ends, brick detailing and pitched roofs create a building that is well-proportioned and respectful of the adjoining conservation area. The detailing is a modern interpretation of the stone and brick features of the more notable Victorian buildings in the area. Ansell Court provides tenants with the very best in independent living and the peace of mind that onsite care and support is available.

Communal amenities include a shared lounge, café, private dining room, activity room, hair salon, laundry, guest suite and two shared gardens which include a potting shed, seating and raised beds. The communal spaces, located on the ground floor, are flexibly designed and engage with the street frontage, advertising the various amenities to the wider public. Located on the most prominent corner of the site, the café attracts parents from the local primary school promoting intergenerational interaction for the residents.

A simple plan form has been created with generous circulation spaces and frequent views to the communal garden. Window seating creates points of interest along the circulation routes encouraging incidental social interaction. These reflect the dementia focus of the building, aiding orientation and way-finding within the building whilst providing an abundance of natural daylight.

The garden design further supports the specialist dementia focus with intimate seating areas connected by pathways through a rich palette of sensory planting.

Many of the HAPPI design recommendations have been embraced, in particular, the apartments have generous space standards, open plan living and large private balconies or patios.

Project achieved BREEAM ‘Very Good’, for a fabric first approach with photovoltaic panels.

One resident said: “It’s a big change to where I was living before… to have my own flat, but still be part of the community. I enjoy the social events which have helped me to get to know the other residents.”