The new building provides accommodation for nearly 400 students and conference guests at the heart of the University’s campus and provides a state of the art Conference centre with a 120 seat seminar space; break-out spaces; meeting and teaching rooms; and a flexible events space with catering facilities and roof terrace overlooking the rejuvenated historic landscape and providing spectacular views above the tree canopy towards central London. It opened in September 2016
A key asset of the University is the green landscape of its campus, with lake, lawns and mature trees providing an attractive setting and a distinctive character for the University itself. MJP’s design proposals aimed to respect and enhance this by:
- Working with and developing the masterplan proposals and objectives, providing high quality landscaped spaces linked by clear pedestrian routes
- Optimising development of student rooms and other facilities, while addressing the existing buildings and context.
- Planning courtyard quadrangles of a collegiate scale and character, which are efficient and sit comfortably in this context,
- Using traditional materials including brick and high-quality precast concrete within a modern architectural language, using colonnades and deep reveals to articulate the elevations,
- Providing an attractive academic building to mark the main entrance to the Digby Stuart Campus.
- Creating a pedestrianised public realm
The aim of the design is to provide high quality accommodation that will attract students and visitors and enhance their experience of the University, giving them a sense that they are a part of the University community
In order to achieve the most advantageous planning outcome MJP, together with the University, developed excellent working relationships with the local authority and met regularly to test and justify proposals. Working closely with the planners had the added benefi t of reducing planning risk .
The proposals make extensive use of pre-fabrication, most notably in the brick and cast stone external wall systems but also by using pre-cast concrete structural elements and bathroom pods. This innovative approach led to a reduced construction programme and enabled a less disruptive building process – particularly important here due to the location of the site within the heart of a ‘live’ campus.
Pre-fabrication also forms a key part of the sustainability strategy. In addition to improving working conditions the off-site process limits construction waste throughout the fabrication process and significantly reduces waste on site during construction. Other key sustainability features include:
- a thermally massive envelope which together with exposed concrete structure help keep the building warm in winter and cool in summer reducing the need for mechanical air conditioning kit.
- natural lighting is maximised to provide light and airy circulation spaces which are comfortable, attractive and encourage chance meetings and interaction.
- high levels of insulation together with a low air leakage coeffi cient
- a CHP system is installed – ideal for buildings with a high hot water demand
- green roofs are installed across the residences to provide bio-diversity and control surface run-off
Working in a ‘live’ environment:
Prior to the development of the building MJP carried out an exercise to illustrate how the existing masterplan could be achieved whilst the University remained fully operable. A series of diagrams were developed to show how pedestrians and vehicles could navigate the site safely with minimum disruption.
In conjunction with a new Library building it will provide a new ‘centre of gravity’ for the Campus and will greatly enhance the image of the University from Roehampton Lane.
The proposal is part of the University’s 2025 Masterplan, which has also been developed by MJP Architects.
- University of Roehampton
- August 2016
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