AI Issue 11 2017

8 Acquisition International - November 2017 today’s real estate language. With more people in development than the government, an originator of educational establishments (Oxbridge and today numerous primary and secondary schools open to all creeds), a 1400yr old continuous legacy (longer than the monarchy), 80m Anglican adherents and a billion Christians worldwide, the group is not insignificant in any value terms. The notion of longevity is also particularly interesting when you consider that buildings can help you live longer. What is that worth to you? The question of value does not really get much bigger. This was the question we approached in designing the 1st Age to 3rd Age, low energy house ‘Beeches’ in the west country. We had been told by the care community that being able to stay in your home longer, in a known environment that you had control over, with support as required and a beautiful and appropriate design was conducive to better health and long life. Historically, good health is often seen as needing to be put right when it goes wrong. Health in buildings is often medicalized and clinical, or the psychological addressed as a ‘greenwash’ or ‘artwash’ e.g. in offices. When importantly it is about inherent design of these and being fundamentally human. The client very satisfyingly commented on completion of Beeches, ‘I didn’t know design could do this.’ Fig. 3 St Paul’s Knightsbridge, London. Our extension and remodelling of this Grade-II listed church in London includes a contemporary interpretation with the ambulatory wrapped around the outside of the building as opposed to being a cloister to one side. As well as directly useful, it doubles up as a calm, contemplative space offering the public refuge from the cacophony of the surrounding streets. Fig. 4 ‘Beeches’ 1st Age to 3rd Age, low energy house. It has both subtle and dramatic spaces. It is highly private, opens to the landscape on one side and uses a reflection pool to get light deep into the plan. The materials are tactile and relate to the area. They include a copper roof and solid basalt worktops which were once molten like the molten batholith of granite that forms Dartmoor, near where the house is located. It has some rooms for children and grandchildren visiting or a future carer. It meets the low energy Passivhaus based AECB standard. The future - resetting conceptions of built value Since all experience takes place through the places we inhabit, we should train our crosshairs not just on output values but on these nurturing input needs by setting the stage for self-actualisation. For some this is still a religious motivation, but also spiritual solace is likely to be found in our leisure activities at sports, a beautiful landscape, a gorgeous gallery, a spectacular museum, a buzzing theatre, a place we love to work… And we anticipate a growing demand for all these. Fig. 5 Theatre, ICT suite and office, W London. Image: Paul Vick Architects Photo: Martin Storey Photo: Martin Storey