A benchmark for the genre
PRP for Eric Wright Construction
Contract value: £16m
GIA: 9,100 m²
Cost per m²: £1,758/ m²
Willow Barns comprises 75 flats for retirement living and should be considered a benchmark for the genre. Procured through PFI competition, as one of three in the area, the project draws inspiration from the southerly topography of the site and existing early 19th century agricultural buildings. Three new triple-level brick barns containing the apartments are laid out around a retained model farm that has been refurbished to provide communal facilities.
A new timber-clad wing contains dining and social areas. In contrast to the homely barns which are carried out in brick, these linking communal spaces are composed of black-painted industrial quality girders and glass. Achieved within tight budgetary and PFI constraints, Willow Barns is all the more commendable as a thoughtfully conceived response to a sensitive site and community of aging residents.