On the reputation established whilst designing Laureate Gardens in Henley upon Thames, NBA were invited to participate in a limited investor competition for the redevelopment of Baltic Wharf in Totnes, Devon. The design brief called for the creation of a 160 unit Retirement Village Located on the river Dart with associated support services alongside market housing with the affordable housing provision.
The site posed a number of design challenges that ranged from an overshadowing southern hillside to the consideration of contaminated dockland soils. With picturesque views over the river Dart to the north eastern corner of the site the extent of shadowing from the surrounding hills and any buildings that were designed as part of the scheme were a crucial design consideration. Detailed analysis of block configuration, building height and solar shadowing was instrumental in establishing a scheme layout that optimised the penetration of sunlight into the depth of the site and maintained a sunlit quayside walk. Using these key design considerations it was possible to develop a scheme that provided 70% double aspect apartments with both sunshine filled balconies and terraces enjoying the riverside views.
The design concept also sought to stitch itself into the physical context of the 8m sloping site by creating a podium for much of the 250m long site. The 4m high podium successfully raised the apartments out of the floodplain level of the dart whilst conveniently providing a sheltered and hidden location for the associated car parking facilities required under planning terms. The podium in itself created a single level for the majority of the retirement village’s core facilities such as the ‘clubhouse’. Additional facilities that could be shared with the public such as shops, restaurants, spa (including care specialisms) and multi-use spaces for art presentations and yoga classes etc we located on the quayside level below. Electric car club and concierge provisions also added to the level of special services included in the village.
The resulting Retirement village design sought to create a new destination along the banks of the Dart River to be accessed by both land and waterway focused on the wellbeing and enjoyment for its occupants.