White Heather House
Awards RIBA East Awards 2018, RIBA East Client of the Year Award 2018 sponsored by Tobermore.
This is a wonderful example of where the architect, Steve Kearney, would just not let a project fail. He formed his own construction company, overcoming early setbacks, to deliver the project to a tight budget and timescale. This is a project that is really changing lives, providing inspiring emergency homes for vulnerable women in the ‘red light’ district of Southend. The layout of the new three blocks around a central space solved the problem of a very restricted site. It creates an appropriately sheltered, private and secure environment for residents who draw support from each other and want to distance themselves from the outside world. The buildings (and the reclaimed garden sheds) are colourful, simply built and carefully placed to maximise the sense of space (there is even a quiet outside space for the staff) on a left-over piece of urban back lot. The building process was complicated too, necessitating bringing materials on to site by hand on occasion. This sort of project makes us all proud to be architects.
HARP is a worthy Client of the Year providing much needed sanctuary for women who are made homeless in Southend. They had clearly worked hand in hand with Architect, Steve Kearney, to make every bit of space on a difficult site work hard and make every piece of building material earn its keep. The residents draw great comfort from living together, sharing meals and activities, and exchanging life stories in what feels like an extended family home.
Contractor SKA Projects
Environmental / M&E Engineer Kettridge Consultants
Structural Engineer Richard Jacksons
Internal Area 425 m²