Proctor and Matthews Architects

Hargood Close, Colchester

Hargood Close is a supported housing scheme in Colchester for vulnerable people in need of emergency temporary accommodation. The development is providing a mix of apartments including studios, one and two bedroom dwellings, as well as family houses.

The brief called for a mix of dwelling types that would provide more flexible options to help staff respond to the differing living requirements of changing tenants. In addition the brief specified improved space for both onsite and visiting staff, communal space, meeting rooms and a secure children’s play area.

The new accommodation is arranged around two landscaped courtyards inspired by the many fine examples of 19th Century almshouses that can be found in this part of Essex.

Hargood Close, Colchester - Proctor and Matthews Architects

It was an important aspiration of the client group that the new accommodation should have a domestic character, and should not appear institutional. To this end the scale and public realm qualities of traditional almshouses were felt appropriate.

Both the access arrangements and accommodation frontage has been configured to provide a southerly aspect to living spaces, particularly for those apartments with only one principal aspect.

External brick clad storage units, located at ground floor level, form part of the rhythm and support for the cloisters and first floor decks that provide access and shelter to both the ground and first floor entrances.

Hargood Close, Colchester - Proctor and Matthews Architects

All materials for this project have been chosen to reflect the need for attractive surfaces with a domestic feel that at the same time are very durable and robust.

To complement the natural warm tones of the brickwork of the main elevations the access walkways feature a galvanised steel structure with perforated and glazed infill panels.

Hargood Close, Colchester - Proctor and Matthews Architects

The galvanised elements provide the required durability while the skilfully detailed galvanised support to the stair core roofs adds further interest to the architecture of the development.

Photos by Tim Crocker

See more examples of galvanized steel