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Florence House

Egremont, Cumbria


Completed March 2012


Value £2.1m


Home Group


2013 Scottish Design Awards
Commendation - Affordable Housing

2012 GIA Design Awards
Commendation - Residential

Florence house is located within the heart of Egremont and is designed exclusively for elderly residents with future provision for sheltered housing. The concept provides generous living spaces and encourages ‘community’ living within the common areas of the development. This is achieved by providing large open spiral stairwells, seating spaces at each flat entrance, open south facing communal gardens with landscaping and external benches to allow residents to socialise with their neighbours and enjoy retirement in the company of others.

Egremont is a traditional market town with a long historical and industrial heritage. Dyeing and Weaving were traditional industries based around the river Ehen, Iron ore mining and quarrying has also been established in Egremont more than 800 years and is Home to Florence Mine, which is the last deep Iron Ore mine in Western Europe. The roof forms and stepped linen mill brick facade reflects the historical industries within the area. The roof orientation is configured to harvest rainwater into waterbutts accessible from the courtyard, whilst providing rhythm of steps along the length of the building to compliment the residential form.

The two / three storey, 22 flat development provides all of the internal circulation to the northern edge of the site adjacent to local industry buildings. To the south, a large open garden space provides a softer domestic facade to the residential street with the addition of private parking within the courtyard. The lower (two storey) apartments are situated near to the traditional terrace row of houses to compliment the scale. The three storey section is concentrated to the north industrial edge of the site, creating a defined edge between the industrial and residential areas.

The project utilises robust locally sourced materials to improve the overall sustainability of the development. The facing brick is manufactured within the northern city of Newcastle and the mortar is mixed on site from locally sourced sand. The principal building structure is constructed in timber frame and the building envelope is super insulated to reduce heating costs and help achieve the code for sustainable homes criteria.

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