Corstorphine + Wright worked with YMCA Birmingham on the redevelopment of their Erdington Site. The Orchard was the first phase of the development, delivering residential accommodation at the rear of the site to allow the continued use of the existing building throughout construction. After completion of the first phase, the existing building could be demolished to make way for a second phase of community facilities.
The YMCA asked us to push beyond the boundaries of a traditional hostel to create a landmark facility that would allow them to develop their work with disadvantaged people in a top quality environment that reflected YMCA values. We aimed to design a safe, secure and relaxed environment that fostered a real sense of community.
A key component of The Orchard’s design is ‘The Orangery’ – a central internal / external courtyard overlooked by the apartments, which creates engaging meeting places instead of corridors. It also delivers natural light into the heart of the scheme and allows for a variety of uses by the residents.
The Orchard provides innovative residential accommodation featuring 83 self-contained flats – mainly one bed units with several two beds, set around The Orangery. There is also a variety of internal and external amenity areas including chill out areas, a communal kitchen, a community support office and external gardens – all providing opportunities for social engagement. The Orchard is also home to the Hand in Hand Nursery.
Our innovative design delivered high quality apartments, which achieved Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4. Sustainability features continued throughout the development as a whole, including solar panels, an air source heat pump and rainwater harvesting.