Project Background

HB villages appointed ACA for supported living apartments design in Dunstable.

The Brief

Primarily the brief was to design an apartment block consisting of 10 apartments.  In fact, 3 of the apartments need to accommodate residents with physical disabilities.  In addition, the other 7 require a design suitable for people with complex care and mental health needs.

Furthermore, the brief was to design a second block, suitable for residents with both physical disabilities, complex care and mental health needs.

The Design Response

Above all, ACA’s response supports independence in a safe, homely atmosphere, flooded with natural light.

Moreover, the two storey supported living apartments design responds to neighbouring properties.  Hence the use of brick, render and cladding provides an aesthetically pleasing and homely environment for the residents.

Accessible Design

Firstly, ACA selected finishes to aid orientation and create a comfortable, acoustic environment with easy circulation for wheelchair users.

Secondly, the design focuses on accessibility for all disabilities. For example, wide doors; sufficient clear floor space for wheelchair users; lower worktops; knee space under kitchen sinks; level entrances and ramped access routes throughout the site for accessibility to the buildings.

Layout and Adaptability

Above all, our technical design contributes to the flexible use of the apartments in a variety of ways.  For instance, furniture can be rearranged and a flexible structure allows for new openings.


Importantly, the design achieves Building Regulations for safety, accessibility and sustainability for current and future generations.

Furthermore, the whole building will benefit from low energy light fittings with sensor controls to minimise energy use.

Landscape Design

Finally, communal gardens will benefit from mature trees, pergolas and scented plants that enhance the overall design, whilst also accommodating wildlife.

Working with Alex and the ACA team has been a breath of fresh air. Indeed ACA really care about the schemes they design. Therefore they understand the end-user and how the schemes must respond to their needs. This is extremely important as we operate a highly specialised area helping individuals with several needs. In addition to the diligence in design we are delighted with their commitment. Moreover, coordination across all our consultants and the speed that information is produced is excellent. We cannot rate Alex and the team highly enough and look forward to engaging again on our next project.

Neil Mackrell Head of Construction, HB Villages

Supported Living Apartments Design, Dunstable

Client: HB Villages
Services: Architecture, Principal Designer
Status: On site
Project Type: New Build
Year 2021:
Project Value: £2.5m

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.