Linden Farm

Linden Farm is a residential development in Alfold Surrey, for 10 adults with severe autism, designed to provide them with an exemplar home environment, whilst enabling the assistance of supported living care.

The primary brief for this build, part of the government’s ‘Transforming Care Programme’ launched in 2015, was to create a delightful yet residential setting for its residents, one that is nurturing and an integral part of the local community.

  • Client:
    McCulloch Homes
  • Services:
    Principal Designer services
  • Value:
    Approx. £16 Million

The land for this project previously formed part of a former agricultural unit with two existing buildings; a detached two storey farm house and a single storey piggery. As part of the development, these were demolished and replaced with three residential cottages and flats as well as an activity centre;

Apple tree cottage – for three residents
Bluebell cottage – for two residents
Orchard cottages – five individual flats
Activity centre – sensory and therapy provision, along with a space for staff support

People with autism tend to greatly benefit from space and links to outdoors and landscape as a positive resource. The concept of the development has therefore maximised the setting of the historic Alfold, the farm heritage and the surrounding ancient woodland. The homes are anchored in the heart of the site by a sensory garden framework.

The initial building materials on the plan were local, brick, stone and treated timber boarding of the village, however due to the client’s budget this had to be value engineered down and replaced with timber cladding instead. The use of Cross Laminated Timber CLT (off site construction) on this project has provided clear benefits including a faster programme, cleaner and easier construction, reduced waste, reduction in need for material storage, structural simplicity, warmer non-institutional aesthetic, cost-effectiveness and the lighter environmental footprint when compared to concrete or steel. Despite using the same building materials for each unit, each building has its own clear identity which is a helpful mechanism for residents.

“It will be an amazing, beautiful place to live and we are sure our young people will be very happy. It looked fantastic on paper, but in real life it was quite stunning to see first time!” 

Family member of a Linden Farm resident