Linden Farm Autism Supported Living
Surrey County Council
The project was initiated by the government’s ‘Transforming Care Programme’ launched in 2015, which has set the expectation that children’s and adults’ services should be working together to ensure that adults with special needs stay close to their families throughout their lives.
The primary vision of the brief was to create a delightful residential setting, which is nurturing and secure, yet an integral part of the wider community. The clients who live there have complex care needs, and a key challenge was providing this level of support within a non-institutional setting.
The masterplan concept maximised the outstanding setting of the historic village of Alfold, the farm heritage of the site and the surrounding ancient woodland. The homes are anchored in the site by a rich horticulture and sensory garden framework. We have taken the typology of a dispersed farmstead, in both arrangement and aesthetics to respect the local vernacular and character of the village. The ten homes are split into three typologies. There are five individual cottages, a two person and a three person shared cottage. In the wider site, there is an activity centre with sensory, therapy provision, learning space and staff areas. Bedrooms are across the setting for staff to allow overnight care.
The use of Cross Laminated Timber CLT (off site construction) on the project has provided clear benefits including a faster programme, cleaner and easier construction, reduced waste, reduction in need for material storage, structural simplicity, warmer non-institutional aesthetic, cost-effectiveness and the lighter environmental footprint when compared to concrete or steel.