Firs Court, Chessington

Firs Court is a residential home for 23 adults with mental health problems and/or learning disabilities who previously lived in 4 separate converted houses.  The new home comprises 2 wings and a central linking block which wrap around three sides of a central courtyard, providing a sunny sheltered oasis from the busy Hook Road.


The courtyard design incorporates a colonnade to either side which reduces solar gain to the ground floor curtain wall glazing and provides covered areas so that residents can enjoy the courtyard even in inclement weather.


The building exhibits a number of distinct architectural features and forms, such as the colonnade, curved end wall and timber clad hanging dormers.


Timber claddingThe materials and their use have been chosen to avoid an "institutional" or "corporate" feel to the building and are therefore deliberately traditional and low key. They are also all materials which will weather well and have low maintenance.


The project has been a huge success; residents thoroughly enjoy living in their new home and the courtyard garden has proved to be a real focus for interaction. Staff retention rates are well above the norm and the project continues to exceed expectations.


Shortlisted for the Pinders Healthcare Design Awards 2013