Located on the grounds of the 18th-century Georgian villa Downshire House at the University of Roehampton in London, Chadwick Hall is three new buildings of student dormitories. Designed by locally based architecture firm Henley Halebrown, the project is one of the shortlisted projects competing for the 2018 RIBA Stirling Prize.
Completed in 2017, Chadwick Hall is a nod to both Georgian architecture and a Modernist block of flats located at the Northwest boundary of the site. Each of the three buildings has a distinct plan type. Two are villas that are paired around an existing historic sunken garden, while the third has a Modernist pinwheel plan and lies on an axis with the sunken garden to the south of the Downshire House, completing an ensemble with the House that creates an outdoor socializing space for students.
“The scheme’s success is also based on a skillful master plan with sensitive arrangement of the blocks,” the jury commented. “The design becomes a backdrop for the listed building and the sunken garden. It gives them the importance and provides students a setting for social gathering.”
The main materials have a subdued color palette of dark red and brown bricks and precast concrete, which complement the nearby listed building without overpowering it.
The student dorms in all three buildings have tall windows, while communal areas have wider windows. The project features one large bay window, perhaps in response to the bay window of the listed building.
The jury panel praised the architects for managing to “create a welcoming and calm space by careful masterplanning” that also responds well to nearby historic structures, a modernist building at the edge of the site, and the wider landscape.
Internal area: 6,365 m²
Contractor: Morgan Sindall
Structural Engineer (post-contract): Campbell Reith
Structural Engineer (planning submission and pre-contract): BuroHappold
Environmental / M&E Engineers: Skelly & Couch
Landscape Architects: Gross Max
Project Management: Gardiner & Theobald LLP
Planning Consultant: Boyer Planning
Heritage Consultant: Steven Bee Urban Counsel
All photos courtesy of 2018 RIBA Stirling Prize.
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