The Children’s Trust, a charitable organisation committed to providing care and rehabilitation for children with multiple disabilities and complex health needs, engaged Avanti Architects to formulate a comprehensive ten-year masterplan for the development of a campus within the grounds of their historically significant Grade I listed mansion.
The initial four phases of this project encompass several key components: the creation of a state-of-the-art Therapy and Research Centre, the transformation of the existing school building, the construction of two contemporary shared residential houses, and the conversion of one of the current residential houses.
The architectural vision for these structures draws inspiration from the expansive parkland surroundings, deliberately fostering a strong connection to nature and the well-established landscape. A pivotal feature is the seamless integration of indoor and outdoor spaces, with direct access from various rooms to the open exterior.
The collaborative design process for the Therapy and Research Centre involved extensive consultation with therapists to cultivate an environment that stimulates its occupants, moving away from a traditional “institutional” feel. The layout of the centre is thoughtfully planned to accommodate distinct zones while ensuring passive supervision and preserving dignity within hygiene spaces. An emphasis on colour and abundant natural daylight has been pivotal in shaping the interior design, serving as a guiding element in communication and educational spaces.
The new residential accommodation encircles a magnificent three-hundred-year-old sweet chestnut tree, forming a central focal point. In these living spaces, including bedrooms and corridors, careful consideration has been given to maximizing the infusion of natural light and capturing vistas of the surrounding natural landscape. This design approach nurtures an environment that uplifts the spirit and fosters a sense of connection to the outdoors.
New therapy, research and residential accommodation for The Children’s Trust
Location Surrey, UK
Photographer Nick Kane