Birchgrove and Hybr launch unique intergenerational living scheme

Birchgrove and Hybr's partnership will see students, key workers, and retirees live together at the new north London retirement development.

Ayrton House is the first of its kind, offering intergenerational living for students and retirees alike | Birchgrove | Hybr | PBSA News
Ayrton House is the first of its kind, offering intergenerational living for students and retirees alike.

Provider of rented retirement homes – Birchgrove – and student letting platform – Hybr – have launched a new industry-first intergenerational living scheme which will see students and key workers live alongside retirees in the same purpose-built and privately rented retirement development.

Ayrton House is a new 60 apartment rental retirement community in Mill Hill, North London. When launched in October this year, 16 apartments across the third and fourth floors will be offered exclusively to trainee doctors and nurses from the local hospital, university post-graduates and graduate scheme students.

The pioneering scheme has been designed to generate a vibrant community by harnessing the benefits of intergenerational living, with several pieces of research highlighting how the model is physically and mentally beneficial for both the young and elderly.

A 2019 UCL study highlighted how increased social contact for elderly people is associated with a lower risk of developing dementia, while an Ageing Research study has found how intergenerational living benefits the elderly by giving them a greater sense of purpose and combatting loneliness, in turn leading to a greater life expectancy.

Further research has also demonstrated how younger people benefit from living with elderly people. It enables them to gain a deeper understanding of the older generation, and increasing their tolerance, empathy and understanding.

The students will live at Ayrton House on short-term tenancies running until June 2025, sharing communal facilities with the development’s retirees. Residential benefits include full access to the gym and the same subsidised rates in the restaurant. Furthermore, the rent on the 16 student units will be approximately 50% of market value.

The project therefore means that students will have access to affordable accommodation at a time when nearly two thirds of all students are struggling to pay their rent. At the end of the tenancies in June 2025, the 16 student units will be vacated and restored to first use state, before being let to retirees.

“Traditionally, intergenerational living took the form of generations of the same family residing together in a single household. Today, we are pioneering a new model: one that brings different generations together within the same purpose-built housing development. It’s a unique approach, one that we’re hugely excited about, and that we believe will really benefit both young and elderly residents alike.”

Honor Barratt, Chief Executive, Birchgrove

Ayrton House is Birchgrove’s third development in London, and the ninth in its portfolio. The £36m development is the centrepiece of ‘Ridgeway Views’ residential scheme, a 47 acre, 528 home scheme in Mill Hill’s conservation area, and will offer residents a restaurant, club room, licensed bar, wellness suite and landscaped gardens.

“We’re breaking down stereotypes and breaking the mould of traditional housing! Honor and I saw an opportunity to address the two loneliest subsections of societies – the under 25s and the over 70s. We’re tackling the housing crisis for students (where students need more available housing options), while finding a solution to the severe loneliness amongst seniors. The seniors support the younger people by making them feel like they have a purpose and familial presence, and seniors get to be around the young to create a more upbeat environment: fostering connections that enrich lives and reduce loneliness. It’s not for everyone, but it’s a real win, win for those that buy into the concept.”

Hannah Chappatte, Founder, Hybr

For over 80 years the historic art deco National Institute for Medical Research, designed by the original Wembley Stadium architect Max Ayrton, was located on the site; the new development pays testament to Ayrton’s original design both in name and by reproducing the original building’s iconic green copper roof.