Prince Charles Opens Award Winning Care Home

April 5, 2012 | By | Reply More

A Pinders Healthcare Awards winner 2012 for the Best Redevelopment Project (Large) Nightingale House-The Wohl Building was opened on 6th July 2011 by Prince Charles. The stunning contemporary architecture and interiors were designed by Scurr Architects and provide a superb environment for the residents and staff.






The Wohl Building is a contemporary state-of-the-art building dedicated to the care of residents with dementia, set within the grounds of the existing grade 2 listed home. The integrated design of the architecture, interior design and the gardens and terraces provides an excellent environment for residents and staff alike.


The new facilities include a synagogue, hairdresser & beauty salon, crafts & activity rooms, lounges, quiet room and seating areas, dining rooms and a newly refurbished concert room.









Scurr worked hard to design an environment which is simple and easy to understand:


  • Corridors are replaced by extended living rooms with personalised furniture, seating and resting areas.
  • Each bedroom wing has a varied design and avoid long straight corridor walls.
  • Views into central activity rooms and out into the gardens allow residents to see and be seen by carers providing reassurance for both the staff and the residents;
  • Maximising natural light, sunlight and views into the gardens creates an environment where residents are able to wander without the danger of becoming disoriented, confused, frustrated or lost.



The first floor corridors are punctuated with rooflights which flood the corridors with natural light.

Fire separation doors and service doors are painted out to match the walls to discourage use. Floor finishes are all a similar colour and tone thoughout to avoid visual threshold barriers.








Creating a hierarchy of spacial separation affords privacy and dignity to the residents and a central focus on the communal activity area and gardens. This provides an increasing level of privacy as you travel further into the building and avoids the need for visitors to enter bedroom corridors in order to get to communal rooms.


  • Public communal: communal areas for residents and visitors (activity, lounge and TV)
  • Private communal: communal areas where privacy is required (Dining)
  • Private: private resident areas (bedrooms and bedroom corridors)




From the outset, the specialist care team, architects & interior designers worked together to create a brief  which focused on the residents lives and aspirations, designing the building from the inside out. Defining places not spaces – with a purpose and identity and the design relating to that purpose. This was carried through to all the bespoke artwork, fixtures, fitting and artifacts – providing a turnkey solution right down to the last magazine, board game, knife and fork.


The full height curved glass doors to the dining room overlook the beautifully landscaped gardens and terrace which include an array of activities, seating areas and paths to stimulate curiosity and encourage the residents to use the gardens for recreation and exercise.

Designed by Tim Lynch Associates the garden incorporates memorabilia, activity and wildlife features such as a bus stop and shelter, a Morris Minor parked on it’s own drive, a telephone box, a gardening club with raised planters, wooden sculptures, water features, a clothes dryer, a potting shed, bird tables and bird bath and a child’s play ground.










Turning renewable energy into a design feature: The huge photovoltaic panels are an integral design feature, suspended on the stainless steel rods they provide more than 20% of the energy requirement and provide an option to increase this percentage to 40%.

The environmental design elements include passive energy conservation with very high levels of thermal insulation, high performance glazing, low energy lighting and equipment and reduced consumption water the new home has achieved a BREEAM rating of Very Good.


Care Provision

 Nightingale is dedicated to providing holistic quality care for life, for older members of the Jewish community. Physical, intellectual, emotional, cultural, religious, spiritual, social, creative and artistic needs are catered for with sensitivity on an individual basis.





Nightingale offers residents a home for life, providing total security and peace of mind regardless of how much their physical or mental health may deteriorate. The Wohl building enhances this philosophy by creating an environment to live and enjoy life not simply a “nursing home”.


Nightingale has become well known for its extensive programme of activities for residents, families and visitors and the highly experienced activities team strives daily to understand each resident’s needs to help them to pursue their own interests and diverse tastes of the residents. The activities include discussion groups, French and German conversation groups, Tai Chi, Keep Fit, a poetry group, music sessions, concerts, a monthly Book Club, tea parties, garden therapy, bingo sessions, dances, arts & crafts, cookery club, art and drama therapy, reminiscence groups, music to communicate with people living with dementia and numerous trips to a wide range of venues. physiotherapy and occupational therapy service, extensive cultural & leisure programme.


Always striving to provide the very best care and opportunities to pursue an active and rewarding life, the home intends to create a state-of-the-art dementia home, a day care centre and extra care apartments to supplement the existing frail nursing accommodation.


The food preparation areas include separate kitchen and storage facilities for the preparation and serving of meat and milk products.


A new Synagoue is provided as part of the scheme enabling residents to maintain their religious beliefs and practices without having to leave the home.



Design & Philosophy of Care


Nightingale is committed to ensuring privacy, dignity, independence, respect and choice for residents and the very best practice in all aspects of their care in partnership with relatives and other stakeholders.


The home provides a range of communal spaces allowing alternative options and opportunities to integrate and socialise with other residents, take part in communal activities or sit quietly with a visitor or carer. Large bedrooms and en-suite facilities allow each resident to personalise their room and alter the layout to suit their own needs or preferences.


Extensive research within the area of dementia design has been applied to the briefing process to create a building that will assist residents and staff alike in creating the best possible environment for the residents in pursuing a fulfilling life.


Nightingale has an extensive programme of activities for residents, families and visitors incorporating both the local community and the wider Jewish community. Numerous events, concerts activities and external trips help forge deep links with the community inviting participation and interaction at every opportunity.


Scurr Architects

Scurr Architects are Chartered Architects and Interior Designers who specialise in the care sector and have an excellent reputation for specialist knowledge, design skills and technical expertise.

Passion, quality and creativity are at the core of everything they do and they listen very carefully to what their clients want in order to achieve their aspirations and deliver commercially viable, innovative buildings. Architects and Interior Designers worked hand in hand to bring a practical and structured process to the imaginative and enthusiastic service they provide.



David Scurr commented;

‘’The built environment has a huge effect on the wellbeing of people with physical disabilities or mental impairment. In a care setting this becomes even more crucial as the collaborative output of the care providers, architect and interior designer can dramatically shape the quality of life of the individuals concerned. Our Healthcare team has more than ten years experience in nursing, dementia, mental health and assisted living and we love to work hand in hand with the clients’ team to create the perfect environment for their residents and carers.

We have extensive experience in the planning sector including listed buildings, conservation areas and green belt. We can provide an expert witness for planning appeals and have extensive knowledge of sustainable design and renewable energy.

Sustainability is the economic use of the world’s resources. The Built Environment consumes 45% of the energy consumed in theUK, followed closely by transportation at 33%, as part of the UK construction industry we can address these issues by ensuring that these aspects are carried out in the most efficient manor without having an adverse affect on the environment.

Whether designing your building to meet the current BREEAM standards, ensuring your building is constructed in the most sustainable methods or incorporating the best and most efficient sources of renewable energy Scurr Architects can provide all the assistance you require and guide you through the maize of alternative approaches.

We provide services at all stages of the design and construction process from site acquisition and feasibility to site administration and fit-out and can deliver turn-key projects if required’’.



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Category: Alzheimer's Care, Care Home News, Care Industry News, Dementia Care, Elderly care, Residential Care

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