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Design for 500 student residences for Glyndwr University in Wrexham, Wales. The design for this campus setting creates an innercourt together with the existing student residences. The new residences uses its site very efficiently in order to maintain the green nature of the campus.

Contrary to The Netherlands where student housing emphasis the individuality of the student dwelling and were the student appartment resembles slightly condensed version of a full sized dwelling, it is the custom in the United Kingdom to house students in smaller rooms of around 12 m2.

The condensed size of the student room in this context means that the provision of collective spaces is of prime importance. The student rooms in this proposal are therefore organized in groups of 6 to 8 rooms around a living room and a kitchen. In order to evoke informal meetings between students, a direct view is created from the living room and the kitchen towards the staircase and the elevator. It is possible to connect the staircase, kitchen and living room on separate floors with eachother to create stairwell parties; a practice that is legendary in many historical examples of student housing in Cambridge.

The building has three peaks to accomodate the programme and maintain an efficient footprint. The peaks house three collective spaces for the students. In the valley's there are green terraces. The building has all elements of the traditional student housing typology in the United Kingdom, like the innercourts (here a green terrace) and the kitchens with a collective use. This way the building sucessfully transforms traditional ingredients into a new, unexpected whole. 

design team
Arjan Scheer

year
2008

status
competition organized by the Royal Institute of British Architects and Glyndwr University