The student residences are part of the new Manor Park Campus at the University of Surrey. The crescent shaped site is lined by trees along its back edge and looks out across a road to the site for future buildings. The development fits into the University’s masterplan for the campus and was planned to enable a phased construction programme.
Courtyards and gabled roofs
The residences are arranged around interlinked courtyards, some enclosed, some open on one side. The buildings present a series of gables to the road, rather like a series of converted barns which sit comfortably in the semi-rural landscape. In this way, the design responds to the University’s masterplan aim of creating a transition between the rural and urban landscape. A varied skyline is formed by the alternating gables and lower linking blocks.
A limited palette of strong durable materials was chosen, to create architecture with collegiate character appropriate to this setting, which will weather well and minimise maintenance. In summary, stock brickwork with deep window reveals, aluminium window frames and steeply pitched slate roofs.
We are delighted with the architectural design of these buildings which meet the University’s requirements for high quality student accommodation. MJP were appointed architects following a design competition and they have played a key role in both the design development and the construction phases of these contracts. In particular we are very pleased with their attention to detail in all aspects of the design.
Planning of the buildings
Courtyard planning creates an attractive living environment which encourages community interaction, while optimising the use of the land. The buildings contains different types of accommodation to provide a choice of living environment.
The courts are semi-private, accessible by residents and their visitors. Stair and lift cores are typically located at the corners of the courtyards, each providing access to three or four flats per floor. Each staircase has a glazed entrance area with seating.
The buildings were designed to maximise passive environmental control and minimise energy requirements, with a well-insulated envelope, high thermal mass in the brick envelope and high air-tightness. Off-site construction was used for key components.
- University of Surrey
- Guildford Society Awards, 2020
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