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Wellington Street Kirkwall Orkney

This 34 dwelling development in Kirkwall provides 10 special needs houses for people with learning difficulties, arranged in a “core-and-cluster” concept to allow flexibility in the level of care provision to suit each individual resident’s needs. The design also includes two short stay houses and one house to provide emergency accommodation. All of the houses are to wheelchair-friendly standard.

A “close care” building accommodates four residents plus staff base and is designed to care home standard, with full sprinkler installation and compliance with National Care Standards.

Adjacent to the core-and-cluster housing are 20 general needs and amenity houses, all designed to comply with Housing for Varying Needs. Pedestrian and cycle routes provide ready access to the heart of Kirkwall.

The houses are highly insulated and use heat pumps and underfloor heating. Orientation takes advantage of available sunlight while protecting against strong winds.

Placing the single storey dwellings at the lower part of the site maximised the views to St Magnus Cathedral in the centre of Kirkwall.