“In any situation where there are groups of individuals residing in close proximity, consideration needs to be made in the design solution to ensure individuals feel safe and comfortable both in their room and on the way to their room.” Muses Angela Biddle, Scott Carver Interior Design Director.
To facilitate this, consideration was made in the finishes and fitout of the entire journey of the resident – from the front door to their own door, borrowing the concept of the guest journey from our approach to Hotel Design. This holistic approach ensured a consistency in the provision of an inviting, comfortable environment – both in the ground floor public areas, and in the guest rooms. Commercial grade furniture and finishes typically used in hotels was utilised so that we could ensure the maintenance, safety and durability of these items whilst ensuring the design intent was maintained.
Consideration to the lighting was taken in the guest floor corridors – rather than flooding the area with light and creating an institutional environment, a more focused approach was used – maintaining a suitable level of light for safety, but focusing on entry doors and feature areas to provide more visual interest. Shared guest floor facilities such as laundries and kitchens were designed to be robust and durable, with considered detailing and finishes to ensure they feel residential, not institutional. The same is true in the guest rooms themselves, where safety in design ensured details maintained the personal safety of individuals whilst providing finishes and materials that balance durability and easy maintenance with the warm, comfortable aesthetic of home.
Whilst Social Housing has requirements to meet in both level of performance and safety in design, it is important to remember that crisis accommodation is still accommodation. We are providing places for people to stay, to engage, to relax and to connect. Just like a resident might in an apartment building or co-living offer; just like a guest might in a hotel. This thinking bolsters our belief that applying learnings from other sectors in tandem with addressing the unique needs of the project, can only enrich that project.