National Starcoombes:everitt architects has won a Cheltenham Civic Society Award for the design of the National Star’s new residential accommodation, Bradbury Gardens in Cheltenham.

Architect, John Everitt, Director of coombes:everitt, commented:

“It’s wonderful to see the National Star’s new residential accommodation recognized by the Cheltenham Civic Society Awards. From a design point of view, the vision was to create a residential scheme that feels like a home from home for the students. We hope that the students feel we achieved this.

“Sympathetic to its surrounding, Bradbury Gardens acts as a perfect transition between the manicured school playing fields of Dunally primary school and the Grade II listed Pittville park. The retention of existing trees and use of green roofs, means the building reflects its location with an established landscape from day one.”

The development, which was constructed by Speller Metcalfe, is home to 25 young people with a range of disabilities and support needs and was officially opened by The Duchess of Gloucester last year. The Duchess praised the design of Bradbury Gardens and how it enabled young people to be independent.

“Bradbury Gardens is beautiful,” said The Duchess. “You said you wanted to create a place where we’d all like to live. You have achieved that. It’s been uplifting to meet the students.”

Resident Josh Reeves agrees. The 19-year-old lives in one of the flats and says it has grown his independence. He now hopes to go into independent accommodation with some support, when he finishes at National Star in July.

“I can prepare my own meals and I like to do my own shopping and making my own choice about what I want to eat,” he said.

“The flat feels like home. Thanks to how it is designed I can do things for myself and it is near Pittville Park and the centre of town. It’s like Centre Parcs but with the added bonus that it is designed to enable people to be independent.”

National StarDesigned in consultation with users and staff, Bradbury Gardens enables young adults with disabilities to live as small peer groups and with access to areas for independent living as well as a centre for accessing education, personal development and therapy support.

As further testimony to how well designed and constructed the scheme has been it has recently won the ‘Best Inclusive Building’ at the LABC West of England Awards.

The specialist facilities include ceiling tracking hoists, ensuite bathrooms, assistive technology, and height adjustable kitchens and baths. Bradbury Garden was funded through a combination of government support, private donations and support from trusts, foundations and the community.