In the near future there will be demand for a large number of new homes to be built on Orkney. Orkney also has a rising elderly population with the need for solutions to tackle social isolation within the elderly population. This project for social housing scheme in the centre of Kirkwall, Orkney aims to tackle these issues through a low rise high density housing scheme.
The project is made up of 6 blocks of flats wrapped around enclosed courtyards, creating a series of narrow pedestrian streets and large courtyards. The deep housing blocks act as a wind barrier to the courtyards. The courtyard becomes a sanctuary from the strong Orcadian winds, a garden where children can play, people can meet and garden, and communal gathering can take place.
The scheme aims to be housing for all ages with is a mixture of housings sizes of 2 and 3 bedroom flats. The smaller flats are located on the ground floor where individuals that may live alone have direct access to the courtyard and street giving them more chance for social interaction. Located above are the 3 bedroom flats that are fully accessible by lift.
Each flat has a central space that can be used as another room, instead of a corridor or an open plan flat it becomes a space that can be opened up or closed off. This central space in some flats is the kitchen in which all rooms around it become flexible. In other flats the central space becomes the flexible room.