Leading the way in specialist retirement living

Beechwood Park, Stow-on-the-Wold

Location Stow-on-the-Wold
Client Brio Retirement Living

A brief history

Brio Retirement Living appointed AWW to help them develop their vision for a high-quality retirement community in this picturesque Cotswold town. The site had secured outline planning consent on appeal in 2015, establishing the principle of development on this greenfield site.

Our vision for the project

We wanted to develop a new high end retirement living development that would not only provide the 106 units needed but also sit comfortably against its backdrop of the historic town of Stow-on-the-Wold, within the Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

What we wanted to achieve

Our design employs traditional vernacular forms and materials, with buildings configured around a series of landscaped courtyards. A core building provides communal facilities including a restaurant, gym, spa and library, with a roof terrace overlooking the central square. This unites the development and residents, creating a sense of community.

Design delivery

We carefully planned the delivery of our design to maximise efficiency and exploit the opportunities offered by repetition and duplication. Our VR technology enabled us to allow the team to experience the scale of the internal and external spaces.


The design is fundamentally driven by the creation of a high quality environment to support the health and wellbeing of the residents. For example, front doors face into car-free landscaped internal courtyards, promoting informal social interaction. Recognising the lifestyle of the residents with potentially long periods spent inside their apartment, the design solution embraces HAPPI principles, with natural light, views, access to external space and a sense of ‘community’ at the top of the design agenda.

Resolving challenges

One of the key challenges for us was to distil the essence of the character of this beautiful town – the scale, massing, variety, materials, textures – and to transpose it into a different, contemporary, building typology. The result is a high quality development which meets the increasing need for specialist retirement living, and which also sits comfortably within the context of a traditional market town and a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.


Apartments are planned to maximise natural daylight. Living areas open onto private external terraces with views into landscaped courtyards.

Communal roof garden

The roof terrace garden provides a fantastic external amenity space looking over the village green, with longer south and west facing views across the Cotswolds.

“I am really proud of what our team has achieved in Stow; a contemporary scheme in the rapidly evolving specialist retirement living market, which provides a fantastic environment for residents and also conserves the character of the area."

David Perkin, Project Director

Ground floor plan

The central building provides bar and restaurant facilities as well as health spa and activity rooms. The apartments here overlook the village green which will act as a social hub and main point of arrival for visitors.