• Architecture
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Housing
  • Health

Hazelhurst Court,



Project Details:

Bringing the outside in to create high quality homes for older people.

Client: Phoenix Community Housing

Construction Value: £12.7m

Completion: 2017

Location: Lewisham


  • Civic Trust Awards 2020: Highly Commended
  • Civic Trust Awards 2020, Selwyn Goldsmith Award for Universal Design: Winner
  • RIBA Awards 2018, London: Winner
  • Housing Design Awards 2018, HAPPI Award: Winner
  • Inside Housing Development Awards 2018, Best Older People's Housing Scheme: Winner
  • 24housing Awards 2018, Affordable Housing Scheme of the Year: Shortlisted
  • Housing Design Awards 2015, Project: Shortlisted

Images: Tim Crocker

Post-occupancy evaluation
Housing for older people
Dual aspect homes
Community engagement
Social value
Renewables on site
Low energy use
Infill development
Access for all
Enhanced biodiversity
Retained mature trees
Health and wellbeing

Where we started

In 2014, Phoenix Community Housing (PCH) identified Hazelhurst Court as an opportunity to provide new homes for their older residents on an underused site, and in turn, free up larger homes for local families. As their first new build development, PCH were keen for it to set a high standard for others in the pipeline.

Our challenging brief was to integrate 60 new homes and facilities on a constrained site, adjacent to a 1960s PCH flat block. As well as maximising the provision of new homes, we needed to create communal spaces that could be enjoyed by all residents – regardless of where they live in the development, or their physical and mental health.

The 60 homes for affordable rent at Hazelhurst Court are all now occupied, creating a sociable and stimulating place for local older people to live

The new communal garden room accommodates a whole host of activities, featuring a lounge, dining room, café, commercial kitchen and TV suite

The new scheme sensitively meets the existing 1960s flat block

As a resident-led organisation, PCH engaged extensively with existing and new residents, in addition to its own stakeholders and members, as proposals developed. Being closely involved in this process, many of the discussions at consultation events informed elements of the project’s design. We subsequently gained a real understanding of PCH’s community ethos, which we wanted to reflect within the revived Hazelhurst Court.

A new garden room provides a light-filled space directly onto the courtyards and has become a real hub for both new and existing residents

I never expected it to be as lovely as it is. My friends have all told me how lucky I am, and how they wish they were moving in too!

Beryl Goodhew, resident, Hazelhurst Court


Creating usable and enjoyable communal space was key, so working within the tight plot, we introduced a building that adjoins the existing block to form a horseshoe with two new courtyards – one enclosed and intimate, and another more open and green, connected by a new garden room. The second smaller building sits opposite, across a newly landscaped street.

Ground floor plan showing relationship between new and existing buildings

Being mindful that many older people spend more time inside, the design is centred on the concept of bringing the outside in. All homes are accessed via outdoor galleries and dual aspect to provide ample daylight, ventilation and a visual connection to the courtyards and neighbouring streets. Planters and seats in front of kitchen windows add to the sense of greening and community, whilst offering the opportunity for growing, personalisation and socialising. Similarly, the new garden room provides a generous, light-filled communal space.

All homes are dual aspect and are designed to HAPPI design principles with flexible layouts

It’s clear that each apartment has been designed with older people in mind, and it’s the quality of the finished homes that has led to such a positive response and demand from residents. I’m confident that the quality of the building, external landscaping and open and spacious communal areas will benefit not only our residents, but all of the broader community.

Jim Ripley, Chief Executive of Phoenix Community Housing

The animated courtyard façades respond to the location and layout of homes: brick lattice screens in front of entrance doors provide a degree of privacy, whereas areas in front of planters and seating are open. Balcony details take a courteous cue from the best bits of the 1960’s building next door. The grid extends into the landscape, with the enclosed courtyard featuring a fish pond, seating areas and planters at different levels to form a rhythm and geometry, in contrast to the softer walking loop, patio and trees in the open courtyard, which provide physical and visual stimuli.

Hazelhurst Court is PCH's first new build development, and as such, they were keen for it to set the standard for others in the pipeline

The new shared surface street at the heart of the development

The enclosed courtyard features a fish pond and planters which provide year-round greenery

Core team

Irene Craik


Tony Hall


Kate Digney

Associate Director, Head of Landscape

Lotta Nyman

Associate Director

Tom Randle

Senior Associate

Joseph Charman

Project Architect