Women's Refuge Defoe Project,Thurrock

Completion date 2005:
Contract value: £ 900.000
Gross internal floor area: 612sq.m

The client runs a women's refuge providing 12 bedrooms some of which are large enough to accommodate their dependent children. The ground floor provides for two sets of communal facilities to enable the women to form smaller social groups and avoid conflict. The communal rooms are located to the rear of the property and are contained within a secure secluded garden. This enables living spaces to spill out onto a south facing patio in the warmer weather overlooking the gardens, children play spaces etc. unobserved by ex partners or the public. The ground floor front elevation accommodates the non resident facilities such as the staff rooms, interview rooms, toilets etc. There is a layered security access system whereby the project staff can deny access at a security gate on the front boundary which contains the parking area. A second line of defence is at the front door which leads into a secure containment lobby where initial security checks can be carried out. Once beyond this point there are additional security doors. The security is discreet and visually low key but provides staff and residents a rear sense of safety which is further enhanced by direct lines to the police.