McCarthy & Stone Competition Entry

Downsizing homes, not lifestyles

Baby boomers want to downsize their homes, not their lifestyles. A fitter, affluent generation of over 55s demand spacious living space, privacy and independence, without the burden of maintaining and running a large, traditional home. Many are single, or unattached through choice not bereavement, living independently, but desiring a home that is safe and not socially isolated. The design prioritises personal privacy and individual identity, whilst promoting an active community in a safe environment.

Each home is independently accessible, without passing through a centralised reception, reinforcing the development’s sense of belonging to the wider community rather than being a separate institution. Security is achieved through design: the layout of houses, and the position of the integrated community building facilitate natural surveillance.


Each dwelling overlooks the ‘Community Street’; a shared landscaped area at the heart of the scheme. Its layout subtly promotes the human behaviours that facilitate building a sense of community, the incidental, unplanned meetings that give opportunities to form friendships. Pathways link defined areas providing facilities for activities not usually possible in apartment complexes; fire pits, BBQs, raised allotment beds, sun loungers, benches and hard landscaping for physical activities such as yoga and tai chi.


This is a generation who don’t want to be patronised, remaining active and intellectually challenged. Many have a strong attachment to the home where they may have raised a family. This proposal presents an irresistibly attractive alternative for the freedom to enjoy their ‘later-life’.