Set among the rolling hills of west Essex, RCKa’s proposals for a new retirement community exploit a gently undulating topography, nestling a collection of villas into a verdant rural landscape.
Designed from the outset to encourage social interaction between residents, the scheme demonstrates how careful, compact development can be successfully reconciled with green open space without compromising the integrity of the rural landscape.
The scheme comprises 105 apartments and ancillary accommodation arranged within five villas which are carefully arranged to respond to views within the development, and from the surrounding countryside.
Working closely with the local planning authority, RCKa developed a bespoke Chigwell Design Guide which established a series of design principles for the emerging scheme, responding to the historic character of Chigwell Village. These characteristics included varying gables, a pleasing variety of materials and interesting roof forms, all of which were used to inform the design of the new homes.
Exploiting the gradient of the site, the villas are extremely efficient in plan, with split cores allowing access from each landing and enabling a range of one, two and three-bedroom homes to be accommodated within each building. Ground floor apartments open onto private terraces which also provide access to the generous shared gardens that connects the villas across the site.
Each villa has a cruciform plan which allows every home, regardless of size, to benefit from views in at least two directions; in many cases three. This arrangement allows different combinations of homes to be configured on each floor, with all bathrooms and kitchen stacking vertically, whilst achieving a remarkable net-to-gross ratio of 92%.
Currently in Planning