Architect-led tour of Appleby Blue Almshouse, Saturday 8 June 11am

Regular price £5.00
Tax included.

Join Open City Friends for this tour of the 2023 Stirling Prize finalist Appleby Blue Almshouse in Southwark.

Witherford Watson Mann and United St. Saviour's Charity.

How to house our older generations? United St Saviour’s experience of running a traditional almshouse convinced them of the benefits of independent but collective living in the city; they set the ambition to update this model for twenty-first century London. Facing the challenges of social isolation and dementia, but also the opportunities for an active and involved older age, we have together imagined a new community that will be both cohesive and outward-looking. The new almshouse reverses the historic model of retreat, in favour of direct contact with urban life.

“We want a mix of generations, abilities and backgrounds to come together and learn from each other. We know that older people have lots of skills and time to offer their community, and by keeping them in the community they know and love, the whole community will gain.” Martyn Craddock, Chief Executive United St. Saviour’s

We talked with residents of the existing almshouse, who explained the importance of the garden for them. The new almshouse has been built around a courtyard garden, lined on its sides by glazed galleries accessing the apartments – bringing the changing colours and light of the seasons into the residents’ everyday experience. Facing the street, the ground and first floors house a series of shared rooms – a café, cookery school, craft room and meeting room - supporting both active and sociable use by residents, and supporting exchange with the wider community.

It has become increasingly common practice to relocate over 60s away from urban centres, pushed or incentivised to the city edge or the coast. Yet, as people live longer and remain active later in life, not everyone wants to withdraw from the bustle of the city; on the contrary, many wish to remain close to the neighbourhoods they have spent their lives in. Older people have a lot to contribute, providing commitment and continuity in the locality. Our design for Appleby Blue in Bermondsey is the result of a collaborative and iterative process working with a highly experienced and ambitious client committed to transform the age-old model of sheltered housing for older people. Every element of the almshouse has been carefully considered and designed to make Appleby Blue a place where people can spend time, meet with friends and participate in a range of activities that enable both residents and people from the local community to keep fit, healthy and active - a place where residents are firmly at the centre of life around them.”  Stephen Witherford

The tour will take place on Saturday 8th June 2024, starting at 11am. The tour will be led by Martyn Craddock and Stephen Witherford.

Where: Appleby Blue 94-116 Southwark Park Road, London SE16 3RD

Find out more information here.

This tour is for Friends of Open City only. If you are not a Friend but would like to join this event and others like it throughout the year, then sign up today.