WGP submits plans for woodland-inspired later living scheme

Internally, day lounges and activity spaces have been positioned at the outward-facing corners of the building to assist orientation for occupants living with dementia.

In a design and access statement, the architects say the extensive glazing, used to encourage engagement with the landscape, has undergone solar radiation analysis to avoid overheating risks, which are mitigated by horizontal shading devices and a proposed green roof.


Speaking of the Haverhill project, director Phil Waind said: ‘We have balanced natural constraints such as site topography and tree locations to really drive a narrative that we feel brings huge benefits to residents, visitors, and staff.

The building features layered timber cladding, ‘inspired by the different layers of shrub, under-canopy, canopy and emergent growth’, and offers views of nature from all rooms and corridors.

Location Near Haverhill, West Suffolk
Local authority Braintree District Council
Type of project Care Home
Client Country Court
Architect WGP Architects
Landscape architect FPCR
Ecologist FPCR
Arboriculturalist Oakfield
Water engineer BSP
Planning consultant Freeths
M&E consultant iTS
Principal designer WGP Architects
Funding Undisclosed
Gross internal floor area 4,760m²

Concept sketch


‘All our care homes focus on usability, buildability, sustainability, and a sense of connection with nature wherever possible, as we know how universal these factors are to safeguarding the delivery of a good building that promote wellbeing for all.’


The 64-bedroom care home, for operator Country Court, would replace a disused former hotel in a semi-rural area on the outskirts of Haverhill, West Suffolk.

The London-based firm (formerly Waind Gohil Potter Architects) says it has ‘nestled’ the blocks into spaces between groups of mature trees on the site and that the scheme ‘looks to its wooded setting for inspiration’.


Haverhill Aerial View

Meanwhile, outdoor spaces include a garden ‘geared towards stimulating the senses’, and a rooftop garden terrace with views across the neighbouring golf course to open countryside beyond.

Haverhill is the latest in a string of care home designs by WGP, which is currently delivering several later living schemes. In June this year it completed its Camberwell Lodge care home in south London.

Existing buildings on the site would be demolished to make way for three linked accommodation blocks stepping down the gradually sloping site.

Following preapplication consultations, the scheme has now been submitted to Braintree District Council with a decision due in early autumn.