Case Study: The Coppice: From brownfield site to the heart of a new community, The Coppice, in Bicton, Shrewsbury

The Result

The Result

The Project

ShireLiving, developed by The Wrekin Housing Trust in partnership with Choices

ShireLiving, developed by The Wrekin Housing Trust in partnership with Choices

What does it offer?

The Coppice has 85 spacious one and two-bedroom apartments and provides high quality independent living for people with a range of care and support needs.


What was the biggest challenge?

Built on a brownfield site as part of a larger ‘healthcare hub’, The Coppice combines independent living for the over 55s with facilities available to the public, including a 42-seat restaurant and a boardroom.

This mixed-use brief required a careful approach. It needed to be safe, comfortable and functional whilst providing a high-quality experience for all users.


Collaboration and innovation


Working alongside JDA (architects), Blueleaf set out to realise the client’s ambition to create a vibrant and inclusive community.

Gaius Owen, Global Project Sales Director at Blueleaf, explains: “The site has a central double-height atrium, a large area but with very little wall space and featuring a coloured stained glazed wall above the main entrance. Without careful consideration, the area could easily have felt too large, cold and somewhat overwhelming.

“Getting this area right was critical to the whole building and lighting design played a key role. With the primary user group likely to include partially sighted people and those living with dementia, we focused on using finishes that would maximise natural light and ensure a good flood of general light for movement through the space, whilst maintaining a warm, welcoming and homely feel.”


Designing a flexible community space


The design incorporated groups of pendant lights at different levels, LED recess strip lighting around the perimeter of the roof glazing and wall lights at first floor height along the walls.

The lighting and colour contrasting critical surfaces created truly inclusive spaces which cater for the needs of residents and appeals to visitors.

Bespoke furniture was manufactured, including large comfortable high-back circular seating and two unique coffee tables, designed to sit on top of round upholstered footstools. Clever use of this furniture and dividing features breaks up the large space and achieves the flexibility needed to host a variety of community events.


Elevating everyday spaces


Studies suggest that cognitive deterioration can be slowed by regular exposure to bright light. Light and bold colours may also decrease the symptoms of depression, an important consideration for people living with Alzheimer’s. Working with these insights, our design team worked on enhancing light and selected an eye-catching green/yellow hue for part of the atrium wall. 

Another consideration was how to encourage the use of shared bathrooms. Our team created ‘pamper bathrooms’ featuring high quality finishes and design cues that promoted a sense of well-being.


The end result


Gaius concludes: “With a number of public-use spaces, it was important that the furniture and finishes chosen throughout The Coppice reflected quality beyond pure functionality.”

“We are particularly proud that the community areas in the scheme, such as the restaurant and the hair salon, reflect what the client hoped to achieve. It is fantastic to see people enjoying the space and residents benefitting from it daily.”

To find out more about how we can work with you to deliver a care environment that meets your requirements, contact us on 03300 55 22 88 or


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