Residential Care Home, Caewern

Client name: Pobl (formerly Grwp Gwalia)

Client overview: Grwp Gwalia is a leading provider of housing, care and support services in south and mid Wales. It is now part of the Pobl Group.

Brief description of the scheme: The project comprised the construction of a 60 bed care home in a partnership project between Gwalia Care and Support and Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council.

Additional information: The residents of this care home will be frail and may well be suffering from dementia, e.g. Alzheimer’s disease. For these reasons the layout and the detailing of this care home has been designed to be dementia-friendly, the bedrooms are arranged in courtyard clusters around a safe, secure garden; circulation spaces are naturally-lit, with views out to the garden; and dead-ends within corridors are avoided.

One particular note is the disposition and sizing of windows within the courtyard corridors, designed (in conjunction with environmental scientists from Cardiff University) to give an even spread of natural light throughout these circulation space, for the avoidance of glare. Glare can be especially problematical for people with dementia. These are just a few of the important details that make this care home very specific to its users.

Throughout the design process, every effort was made to preserve as much of the site’s woodland habitat as possible. Canopy and root protection zones were identified at an early stage and the layout designed accordingly.

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