Transforming Ancient Stone Ruins into a Flagship Residential Home for Adults with Autism

Time: 14:55 - 15:15

Date: 9 June 2022

9-june-2022 14:55 9-june-2022 15:15 Europe/London Transforming Ancient Stone Ruins into a Flagship Residential Home for Adults with Autism

As anybody who works within Health & Social Care can tell you, the level of regulation and restriction within the healthcare system can at times feel like a burden. Similarly, the level of regulatory oversight from planning and conservation officers when working with historic structures can also, sometimes, feel a little heavy handed. We were… Read more »

Design in Mental Health

Synopsis

As anybody who works within Health & Social Care can tell you, the level of regulation and restriction within the healthcare system can at times feel like a burden. Similarly, the level of regulatory oversight from planning and conservation officers when working with historic structures can also, sometimes, feel a little heavy handed.

We were well aware, therefore, that when our client approached us with the idea of transforming 800 year old, grade II listed, derelict stone barns into a flagship residential home for adults with conditions relating to autism, that the project would likely throw some challenges our way.

The West Aberthaw Barns project was truly one-of-a-kind, and posed some of the most interesting problems we have encountered. It was far from a vanity project though – our client did not choose these old stone ruins for the novelty or prestige.

Sometimes when talking about architecture we get trapped into thinking about buildings as stand-alone structures built in isolation, when, in reality, of the 5 senses that we could be thinking about when designing, all of them can be impacted for better or worse by a building’s location.

Set deep in the countryside, within view of the Welsh coast line, and bordered by the immense Aberthaw Power Station – this combination of quiet isolation, inspirational natural surroundings, intriguing large scale engineering, occasional salty tangs on the otherwise clean fresh air and robust and varied textures within the ancient stones of the buildings that made up the site itself all came together to create an environment that could not be achieved, through any amount of design, within the site by itself.

During this presentation we will explore how we overcame the challenges posed by these ancient structures, while making the most of the unique opportunities that they had to offer.

Speakers

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