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Ageing in place and Neighbourhood Communities - ARC230

Updated: May 7, 2020

One of the key elements of ARC230 (Falmouth University RIBA Part 1 Architecture) is to incorporate an activity that will not only bring the neighbourhood together but also to allow for those occupying the eight apartments planned (hypothetically!) on the site at Falmouth Docks Station. Searching for an appropriate 'activity' I remembered this poem:



This is a reminder that, although our bodies age, our minds do not... we remain as teenagers and have a desire to be included and challenged. Architecture should achieve this at all levels.


Cornwall has been consistently above the national average for age. In the UK in 2016, 18% of people were aged 65 and over, and 2.4% were aged 85 and over. In Cornwall, they were at similar levels in 1996, with 24% of the population aged over 65 in 2016, predicted to rise to 30% come 2036. Ageing Population – Cornwall Statistics cornwallstatistics.org.uk


To examine the history of housing that might provide a focus on the neighbourhood element of our social activity I came across Fuggerei and the fascinating tale of one of history's greatest benefactors:











I also had the pleasure of knowing much about Holman Park; Courtyard cottages had been developed opposite the Stable Cottages most successfully to create a 'street' of neighbours...


I started to examine the type of structure I might place in a site that was restricted in terms of building construction space due to the close existing buildings and trains on each side. The ZED Factory projects provided much inspiration:


I started to take a closer look the concept of ZEDPods and ZEDBeds. Ultimately it is a project that enables light weight structures of high insulative qualities to be placed on existing car park surfaces with minimal foundation work and disrupting the site. The key advantage is that each unit is delivered on a standard flatbed lorry and placed onto the base structure. A central warehouse provides all trades with a covered and equipped area to prepare each unit prior to transportation, enabling easy fit for all services on site within much shorter construction time on site than traditional methods. They claim that the smaller unit ready to occupy can be built for around only £65,000.


In researching possible acivities I discovered that according to Craft in an Age of Change, Crafts Council,(2012) about four fifths of those working in craft are male, and 40 per cent are over 50. Craft participants are more likely to be female if they are self-employed, part-time. Crafts Council presentation; Measuring the Craft Economy, Crafts Council, March 2015 stated:

  • Crafts contributes £3.4bn to the UK economy

  • There are an estimated 11,620 UK crafts businesses, employing 149,510 people

  • There are over £5bn of exports from the UK crafts sector

In 2018 crafts contribution in Gross Value Added to the UK economy was £300m


My original idea was to provide a communal space for hobby work and small shops for selling these items, together with a café. Studying the issues with light on the ground floor it became evident that this was not my best idea! I then began a more detailed study of light which will be detailed in the next blog.




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