Building Study: Moor's Nook, Surrey, by Coffey Architects

Court_Moor Courts_Coffey Architects_Photo Credit Tim Soar

The architect’s largest UK project to date reclaims deck-access housing as a means of creating both intimacy and community

When does a deck become a balcony? Or vice versa? It may seem like a pedantic query but it is one that haunts Coffey Architects’ latest scheme. Moor’s Nook is a 34-unit housing development for specialist retirement living developer PegasusLife located in Woking, Surrey. It is also Coffey’s largest UK project to date and the practice’s first completed housing scheme. 

Ten years ago the words “specialist retirement living” were likely to induce the kind of involuntary narcolepsy occasionally experienced by the venerable residents such institutions were built to house. But today this sector has been transformed into one of the most economically and architecturally dynamic in the entire UK housing market. 

Gone are the days of musty corridors and fluorescent lighting. Galvanised by the influential HAPPI reports of 2009, 2013 and 2016, today some of Britain’s best housing is to be found in this sector and the emphasis it places on universal themes such as daylight, materiality, intimacy and nature has revolutionised the architecture it produces. 

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