For this project we teamed up again with a large London-based practice which valued our design skills, planning expertise and collaborative approach.
Our brief as architects was to create a large block of high-quality accommodation for students, including self-contained and twin apartments.
The city context gave us an opportunity to design a vibrant urban space at street level.
To fit in with the scale of the surrounding buildings, while maximising accommodation, our design includes a recessed rooftop pavilion. The effect is to make the building appear no more than four storeys high from the main road.
To avoid endless repetition in its elevations, the wall details and asymmetric windows are designed to create varied rhythms. The juxtaposition of the stair tower, main building and more domestically scaled rear section helps further in breaking up the mass of what is, in reality, a very large building.
As well as masterminding the design and internal layouts, we successfully achieved all necessary planning consents through close liaison with the local authority. We also worked at each stage with Sainsbury’s, for which this was part of a wider commercial and community improvement scheme, to ensure everything met the company’s exacting requirements.
The resulting mixed-use development, which includes a sushi bar on the corner which we adopted as our very own, has been successful financially, socially and in its effect on the street scene.