Highfield Extension, Saffron Walden

Highfield Extension, Saffron Walden

About this project

Highfield is an established, largely purpose-built care home offering elderly residential, nursing and dementia care, and contains 53 bedrooms in total. Over the years, the home has undertaken various extension and refurbishment works to keep the home up to date and fit for purpose. The most recent project was completed in January 2015, which saw the development of a new reception area and two luxury bedroom suites.

Highfield Care Home was originally two very large houses set in sizeable grounds at the end of a small culde-sac in Saffron Walden.

In the mid 1980’s, these houses were converted, linked together and extended to create Highfield Care Home. The result was a predominately single storey home but with two separate and unlinked two storey elements. The main part of the Care Home wraps itself around an enclosed courtyard off which bedroom wings were formed.

In 2001, DWA Architects were appointed to deliver an extension to the home. This work comprised adding a single storey wing to the rear of the existing Care Home. This wing naturally created another enclosed courtyard and hence it was logical to incorporate patio doors giving its residents direct access to the outside. At that time the Home was registered for 58 residents but there was a high proportion of double rooms which were becoming increasingly difficult to let and hence the Homes occupancy was reducing as these rooms were having to be used as singles.

The first phase extension added 7 bedrooms with ensuite facilities to the Home and created the springboard to undertake a phased reconfiguration of the existing accommodation. This entailed the re-planning of banks of rooms, taking out the doubles and forming singles with ensuites – with a reduction in bed spaces but an increase in bedrooms overall.

All rooms facing onto the central internal courtyard were provided with direct access by formation of patio doors. Four carefully planned phases of works were involved allowing the Home to continue in full operation as residents agreed to change rooms so that the Homes facilities were enhanced and improved. At the same time other related accommodation was altered and improved to ensure that all facilities were commensurate with the quality bedroom accommodation that had been created.

In 2008, upgrading and reconfiguration of the kitchen facilities were undertaken in a single project which involved a full reconfiguration of the kitchen in order to create a better production flow in what was a very confined and awkwardly shaped space. Subsequently further more localised improvements were undertaken as the development of the Care Home naturally progressed leading to the latest addition which was completed in January 2015.

This latest project involved developing a new reception area and two luxury bedroom suites, as well as works externally to increase the number of parking spaces and improve the overall appearance.


Date:  January 10, 2015
Skills:  Healthcare & Care Home