The best BTR developments will recognise the value of high-quality public realm. In the case of Kirkstall Forge, an exciting opportunity exists to enhance the woodland setting, ensuring that the landscaped settings for new residential blocks contribute to the local biodiversity and ecology.
Well-designed open public spaces can contribute better health, integrated communities and enhanced public safety. Visible entrances and views to nature go hand-in-hand with passive surveillance and safety, in addition to encouraging outdoor activity, footfall to commercial units and the opportunity for outdoor events and wider community integration.
__A WARM WELCOME
In BTR developments, the feeling of home should start the moment a resident walks through the main door. The entrance ‘lounge’ often includes places to meet and relax, post and parcel collections, a concierge desk or acts as a gateway to other resident spaces. Furnishings in these spaces should be comfortable and welcoming, whilst being secure and visible.
Shared spaces within BTR can offer capacity for a range of uses, to be enjoyed in a private, semi-private or public way. Spaces for hosting private functions, communal dining, physical activity such as exercise classes or a gym, adult learning, games and residential community events such as quizzes, film nights and escape rooms are all popular in BTR developments – and do not necessarily need individual spaces for each.
Intelligent space-planning and consideration of adjacencies can ensure that rooms and zones can be used in a flexible and responsive way. For example, a room could be used for an 8am yoga class, a midday Spanish class, a games lounge throughout the afternoon and an evening wine & beer tasting – all in the same space.
Dedicated and specialist spaces – such as communal kitchens or gym facilities – can be planned to maximise use and accessibility.
By integrating space-use with the BTR-operator’s resident satisfaction strategy, technology can be used to book, hire and sign-up to events – encouraging engagement and participation in community activities.
Shared gardens and communal terraces are an important extension to the home, and, like with the internal amenity spaces, can host a range of functions and activities whilst playing an important role in occupant wellbeing.
We are exploring and delivering rooftop allotments and kitchen gardens, barbeque and events spaces, outdoor exercise space and equipment and simple places to meet and relax outside. Movable furniture such as planters can subdivide larger spaces, allowing multiple uses at once.