Loveday Kensington

Designed for dementia
A compact urban site in Kensington Square, was transformed into a series of sensory garden terraces for those living with dementia.

The brief for the new care home was for the building and landscape to work seamlessly together, to create a refined and welcoming home-from-home experience to complement the interior spaces and afford a series of garden terraces that would be an integral part of the care. The opportunity was to define individual spaces tailored to resident’s needs, to evoke memories, stimulate the senses, and to afford a sense of calm and provide a connection to nature.

The existing site was previously used as a car park, with back of house activities with MEP units. The challenge was to create a series of small garden spaces that responded to the varying microclimate of the site, based in best practice of dementia care, founded upon design principles to aid those in later life, especially with reduced mobility, macular degeneration and those living with dementia. The design proposals were informed by a unique training course to experience first-hand the challenges of living with dementia.

The planting palette was meticulously researched to ensure every plant is non-toxic, does not trigger skin irritation, or cause upset if ingested, to eliminate risk to those living with dementia. A rear communal terrace offers a potting shed and raised activity tables to allow residents to take part in gardening as a therapeutic activity, providing touch, smell and taste senses.
Planting sought to celebrate seasonal change and circadian rhythm, promote biodiversity and birdsong with safe plant textures for touch, bright planting hues for ease of sight, rustling grasses for sound and scented planting to evoke memories.
Raised beds allow ease of access to planting with each ground floor unit having its own private garden terrace and activity table. Extensive testing of bespoke potting tables was undertaken to allow optimum accessibility for wheelchairs users. Climbing plants were used extensively to a green outlook from all rooms.

An upper communal terrace to the front provides a pleasant green space in which to relax and meet other residents or guests, with sculptures acting as memory triggers and set amongst fragrant planting.

New focal water wall and water features on the terrace and lower entrance garden allows further sensory elements of sound and sight, with hard landscape finishes considering light reflectance values (LRV) to ensure surfaces are legible for those who are visually challenged.


Loveday Kensington, Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, London




Loveday & Co


Landscape Design
Concept to Tender, Construction monitoring


Care Home Awards 2023 – Finalist Best for Architecture or Interior Design
Care Home Awards 2023 - Finalist Best New Care Home 
Knight Frank Care Home Awards 2023 – Finalist


Architect: Life 3A Architects
Structural & Civil Engineers: Elementa
Project Manager & Quantity Surveyor: Quantem
Operator Project Manager: Rumpoint

Photo Credits:

Loveday & Co