St Bede's Extra Care, Bedford

A scheme of great quality and richness

· Credit: Tim Crocker

PRP for Orbit Homes

Contract value: £12.9m

GIA: 10,993 m²

Architect PRP has managed to provide a scheme of great quality and richness on the site of an old school in Bedford. There are 104 one and two bedroom homes for independent living for the over 55s.

Despite the number of homes on a tight site the internal spaces are generous, clearly laid out and well-lit by roof lights, with both the space and natural light adding to a feeling of calm in communal areas. A diverse palette of materials is used, with various elements complementing each other. Balcony access creates opportunities for both interaction and personalisation of space a well as supplying an external front door.

  • · Credit: TIm Crocker
  • · Credit: Tim Crocker
  • · Credit: Tim Crocker
  • · Credit: Tim Crocker

The scheme incorporates community facilities such as a restaurant, hair salon and guest suite. The jury commends the architect for its skilful manipulation of the site to provide a large number of units and, on an extremely limited budget, showing what can be done with expertise. 

See other winners in the RIBA Regional Awards – East