Standards Wise International - Blog

Fostering Innovation in Design for Ageing (Housing LIN)

In late July we attended the last Housing LIN webinar of the spring/summer season, about ‘Fostering innovation in designing for Ageing’. They say that in recent months they have learnt about the importance of intergenerational and inclusive housing.

Steve Connor from Phoenix Community Housing presented about their Melfield Gardens development in Lewisham. He said that their area of Lewisham had a disproportionately large older population, but they didn't want to build another extra-care scheme and wanted to focus on 'right-sizing' and make it intergenerational.

The architects for Melfield Gardens created two blocks on an angle with an existing walkway in the middle, to create a 'conversation' and make it intergenerational. They also created a hybrid 'one bedroom plus' model with additional space which isn't a bedroom. It is a flexible space, which it is hoped will be attractive to people who are downsizing.

The scheme at Melfield Gardens has a ground floor garden room and lots of areas of interest to look down on. 10% of the flats are fully wheelchair accessible and there are also flats for students.

In 2019 Phoenix Community Housing started talking to Goldsmiths University about the possibility of working with graduate students on an intergenerational housing project. The pandemic meant that the workshops were put on hold until they could resume face to face in December 2020, and involved students and officers from Goldsmiths and residents from Hazlehurst Court.
The idea was that the students would be offered lower cost accommodation at the scheme in exchange for giving some of their time to the residents. A larger group of students and residents will be brought together next month to discuss the comments and questions raised at the previous workshop.

Julia Glenn from UK Research and Innovation then spoke about the Designed for Ageing competition, which is being launched in September 2021.