Tree Top Village

Location: Walker, Newcastle upon Tyne
Client: Your Homes Newcastle / Wates
Status: Completed spring 2017

Tree Top Village is the culmination of 25 years of work by Newcastle City Council to encourage investment in the core of this community. Tree Top Village delivers a new heart for Walker in the form of an exemplar mixed-use retirement village, managed by Your Homes Newcastle, providing high quality affordable accommodation exclusively for over 55’s or people with an assessed medical need.

Phase One of the project provides 75 one and two-bedroom apartments. The apartments are arranged over four storeys, set around a communal landscaped courtyard as well as an internal atrium accommodating a range of community and retail facilities at ground floor level. Utilising this building as the main facility, the adjacent low-rise Phase Two development provides further retirement accommodation in the form of 36 one and two-bedroom flats and eight two-bedroom bungalows.

The ‘Dr Hans Marcel Becker philosophy’ which influenced the scheme’s design, provides a liberating and inclusive environment for residents, encouraging them to take ownership of the development. The resulting environment is hotel-like rather than institutional. The Phase One development’s generous entrance foyer provides a welcoming entrance to a spacious ground floor ‘mall’ area, which is naturally lit from above by an atrium, and is open to residents and the public alike.

In both Phase One and Two, all properties achieve Lifetime Homes standards, allowing homes to be more easily adapted to meet residents’ needs as their circumstances change and they grow older. In addition, all 75 apartments in Phase One, and all 8 bungalows in Phase Two, have been designed to Wheelchair Housing Design Guide standards.

Tree Top Village was awarded Outstanding Development of the Year in 2017 by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) North East. The scheme was also a finalist at the 2017 Inside Housing Development Awards in the category for ‘Best older people’s housing development (over 100 homes)’. As architect and planning consultant for Tree Top Village, we were also delighted that, in February 2018, the development was shortlisted for the national RTPI Awards 2018 in the ‘Excellence in Planning for Health and Wellbeing’ category, with an announcement due in May 2018.