History and Influences
Barnet’s existence as a settlement began at a fork in the Great North Road running from London to Edinburgh. Its location on the turnpike at the top of a hill ensured it became a key transportation gateway in the 18th and 19th centuries where coaches would stop at one of the many coaching inns to change horses before heading away from the capital.
The site of Signature’s home at Barnet is adjacent to the old Victoria Hospital, built in 1888 for the grand sum of £3,000. By 1949, the burgeoning population created a need for maternity beds and the hospital took on this function, with a Special Care Baby Unit being created in 1958. Many of the older population of Barnet associate this site with the birth of family members or even themselves.
The inspiration for the interior design of the home draws on Barnet’s character as a gateway, a place where journeys begin with the excitement and anticipation of new experiences. Also, the tradition of care on the site will be continued; this will be a building where wellness is at the forefront; the design will respect the six concepts of wellness, to create a gateway to wellness for the residents, families and carers who live and work within.
Each of the six concepts will be supported by the physical environment, creating a series of different destinations and experiences, all navigating from the hub and heart of the building, the Grand Lobby. The purpose of each area will be reinforced by a presentation that will enhance one or more of the six. This will be directly focused in some cases, by providing an activity or facility. In others, it will be an underlying atmosphere of calm or stimulation, created by use of space, colour and materials.
For those who have lived long and busy lives, this will be a sanctuary, a tranquil home, close to urban convenience, but not overwhelmed by its stress and bustle. It will be their own personal gateway to wellness.