Gannochy Lifetime Neighbourhood



ARCHITECTURE: Residential - Multi unit


Anderson Bell Christie
The Gannochy Trust


The Gannochy Trust


AK Bell, a noted philanthropist, constructed the original Housing Estate in 1923.  It provides high quality housing at mid-market rents. The new housing development provides  flexible  two bedroom homes which can  accommodate a range of  tenants  such as young ‘starter’  families, single people, downsizers, and people with physical and perceptual impairments (such as dementia) including those with a live-in carer.

Adding value: We prepared a community-led Masterplan integrating new and existing housing and greenspace.. Older people were living in hard to adapt family homes or stand-alone sheltered housing (around 60% of households were over 55) and there were few young families. To address this imbalance, the new housing neighbourhood is designed to support an intergenerational community which nurtures a sense of ‘ageing well’ 

Carbon usage; New homes are energy efficient and sustainable based upon a fabric first approach. AK Bell invested in good ventilation to original dwellings and new homes continue this tradition. They utilise a pilot low-tech approach to ‘passive stack’ ventilation developed in collaboration with GSA MEURU. An enhanced ceiling height of 2.6 metres dilutes CO2 and other pollutants. Air quality will be monitored in 8 houses by MEARU for a 2 year period.

Context; The existing Gannochy Estate has a distinctive character and a high quality landscape setting.   Original homes were all orientated on a south west grid – an early use of solar gain -  so  new homes are orientated similarly .Like their predecessors, new homes have distinctive hipped roofs, simple massing and  generous front gardens.

Improving what has gone before; Our research with Scottish academics suggests that getting outside is a significant factor for older  people’s  mobility  and is an important  predictor of  health, so  we have designed an environment that makes it easy and enjoyable to go outdoors. Different degrees of sociability have been built into outdoor spaces - from private gardens to community gardens and orchards.  All new homes incorporate sheltered, south facing  ‘sitouteries’ which are already well used by residents.  

Broader benefits; This is a Pilot Lifetime Neighbourhood. The Trust are committed to an ongoing development strategy which supports older residents to age in place and encourages sociability across all ages.  

Test of time; New development is an evolution of the existing estate.  There are visual connections to the wider Gannochy Estate and  larger homes – intended for families with a wheelchair user - act as landmarks to aid way-finding