We are delighted to announce that our design for a hostel for the homeless in Hertfordshire has been granted Conditional Planning consent. It is located at The Elms, Redbourne Road in Hemel Hempstead. The decision ensures a much needed facility can go forward towards construction on a tight programme. We researched best practice by visiting other generally similar hostels. These were in Cambridge, Northhampton, Brixton and also the current scant facilities in Hemel Hempstead. With our knowledge of passivehaus, sustainable materials and designing for communities, we developed a very suitable facility. We met with local residents, Druglink and DENS (emergency night shelter and food bank providers) and have built up our understanding of how to serve this need, in this community. Dacorum Council are to be congratulated for pushing through with the procurement of this facility. 41 beds are being accommodated on the site for people who can stay for up to 30 days before they are moved to more permanent accommodation. Various agencies will visit the building to help people get back on their feet and become reintegrated into the town. The facility will offer meals, a comfortable living area, medical and other facilities. There is a large basement storage and plant area to take advantage of the sloping site.
The design is modern, and uses rich red shades of a durable recycled cladding set which should have a modelled appearance to the street elevations. There are dark grey metallic elements proving visual interest and solar shading. Also most ground level features and cladding are real timber or green wall. The accommodation is arranged around a courtyard garden which has built in seating and lighting. Landscaping is an important part of the scheme, with 3 new trees proposed along the front boundary, the building will peep out to show its warm welcoming presence. A new building for a new start. The project is on a tight budget, we are sure there is potential to create a really well working facility, tying in a with a garden amenity area just to the rear of the site.
This project was done in conjunction with CGP architects for Dacorum Borough Council.