New Accommodation for Independent Living

New Accommodation for Independent Living (NAIL), is central to Brent Adult Social Care’s programme to provide high quality homes for a range of older, more vulnerable people. Through careful design, NAIL promotes the residents well-being and ability to live independently.

The NAIL forms part of The Stonebridge Redevelopment, and is located on a narrow strip of land on the Twybridge Way site. A quiet loop road along the northern boundary provides on-street parking for visitors and carers, together with a minibus / ambulance parking bay adjacent to the main entrance. The site widens towards the east with a number of existing mature trees along the site boundary.

Planning guidance suggested a 5-storey high building, aligning with an adjacent 5-storey block of flats. Southstudio evolved the detailed brief through a series of sketch studies to establish site capacity, combined with active research, interviews and visits to other ‘best practice’ examples.

The approved proposal provides 36 one-bedroom, fully fitted apartments, all designed as wheelchair accessible. 6 of these are designed as wheelchair adaptable dwellings, to meet Building Regulations, Part M4 (3) with additional bedspace for a live-in carer. 

There are a range of on site support facilities, including a multi-purpose space which can be used for dining, TV and lounge activities, all with level access to the garden. This space is served by a catering kitchen providing pre-cooked meals, while there is a therapy room located adjacent to the lift for ease of access. Other ancillary spaces include a central laundry and mobility buggy store.

A carefully designed soft and hard landscaped area is located off the communal social area at ground level, for the residents benefit and recreation.

Key design aims are to provide flexible apartment layouts, all with dual-aspect. The windows and open balconies facing south are deeply recessed to avoid unwanted solar gain, while providing good views out.

Access to all apartments is by lift or stair along external colonnaded walkways on the North elevation. Entrances to flats are paired to create a shared social space including bench seating and planters to encourage social interaction. Generous lightwells are also positioned regularly along walkways to maximise daylight and to create a sense of privacy to adjacent living spaces.

The building envelope is proposed to be clad in warm red facing bricks with precast reconstructed stone bands and trim. The elevations are highly articulated, with deep inset balconies, windows and walkways to modulate the building form and reduce the apparent bulk.

Full Planning Permission was granted in May 2020, and the construction phase is planned to commence in 2022.


Client: London Borough of Brent

Architect: Southstudio


  • Project management & EA: Pellings
  • Structural Engineer: Price & Myers
  • Services Engineer: Hydrock
  • Landscape Architect: BDP Landscape
  • Cost Consultant: Pellings
  • Transport Consultant: Hydrock
  • Planning Consultant: JLL