Hammerson House is an existing care home on The Bishop’s Avenue in Barnet, providing holistic care, assistance and support to older Jewish people since it was built in 1961. Over the years, it has been subject to numerous extensions and adaptations. Our client, Nightingale Hammerson, is committed to embracing best practice for residential care, while also providing exemplary nursing care for older people with dementia; the existing premises no longer reflect this ambition.
The Bishop’s Avenue borrows the historic associations of the former hunting grounds of the Bishops of London for a tree-lined avenue of large private houses connecting Hampstead Lane to East Finchley. Pollard Thomas Edwards’ proposed scheme takes advantage of the site’s mature woodland setting to embrace the proven therapeutic benefits of natural light and connections to the landscape in the later years of life.
Nightingale Hammerson’s vision for exemplary care is to create a sense of home, where old and often very frail residents can have as sociable and active a life as they would like, supported by round-the-clock nursing care. The generous public restaurant and reception rooms on the Bishop’s Avenue will be used for social events and religious festivals, acting as a social hub for the community, families and volunteers. PTE worked closely with the charity and their specialist care team to develop a brief that blends all these elements and layouts that combine clarity with domesticity.
The new Hammerson House will provide 116 new resident en-suite bedrooms located within 6 distinct ‘households’, each with associated facilities. These include dining rooms, resident lounges with sheltered winter gardens, informal sociable spaces and specialised spaces for Namaste care – a therapeutic care programme for those with advanced dementia – overlooking the gardens.
Communal resident spaces on the ground floor, including hair salon, shop, café, reception spaces and a dedicated therapy suite, open out on to new gardens designed to respond to seasonal changes and provide variation in texture, colour and scent.
The architecture takes its cue from the neighbouring Hampstead Garden suburb, using a contemporary interpretation of traditional forms and materials, while creating a distinctive and inviting frontage to The Bishop’s Avenue. The proposed glazed ceramic cladding tiles are a nod to the tile-hung buildings of the Arts and Crafts style of the suburb, while stone-clad pavilions take their reference from the traditional stone dressings of Arts and Crafts windows. The new building steps back from the existing building line, providing improved access for those suffering from impaired mobility while creating an inviting, open aspect to the street in contrast to the more private, enclosed frontages that characterise the rest of The Bishop’s Avenue.