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James Watson

The Canalside Retreat Apartments are part of a larger regeneration scheme in Bootle, aiming to give the area a new lease of life and to counteract some deep-rooted social issues. The client for the project was SAFE Regeneration, a community-lead business based besides the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. The proposal consisted of a masterplan
aspect which replaced the already existing SAFE hub located at the St. Mary’s complex. The masterplan aimed to provide housing for different demographics and family dynamics as well as workshops, engaging the broader local community; bringing about a community cohesion that Bootle as an area is lacking. The scheme as a whole aims to provide a place where natural talents can be harnessed and nurtured; where potential is realised. The different types of housing provided in the scheme consist of townhouses of varying sizes all the way to extra care apartments. After focusing on the project at a macro scale, I focused on a specific set of apartments. The Canalside Retreat Apartments provide Assisted Living Apartments addressing some of the key challenges this particular age group (typically 50+ years) face in Bootle. The apartments are designed to maximise the opportunity for social interaction between residents with numerous co-living/ communal spaces, for example each 4 apartments share a social lounge. The apartments aim to tackle loneliness in numerous ways, some indirect by offering opportunity to create art and for residents to shape their surroundings. Various organised activities ensure there are always opportunities to learn something new.