• Client Unite Students

  • Type Student Accommodation

  • Location Reading

Located within the Kendrick Halls Conservation Area, adjacent to eight detached three-storey Grade II listed Victorian Villas the site demanded a design approach of the highest quality, sensitivity and integrity. Conversely, UNITE requested that the site was developed to achieve the maximum possible density.

The master plan was conceived as a series of blocks ranging in height from three to five storeys, with the lower storey and smaller blocks closer to the listed Villas. They were configured in a formal rectilinear pattern to respond to the historic urban grain of the context as well as avoid conflict with a number of large, mature trees protected by a preservation order.

The landscape between the buildings has been designed to encourage rest and relaxation as well as enhance the natural setting of the existing trees, allowing them to become a primary feature of the development.

Each block was constructed using off-site manufacturing technology. Fully fitted and finished whole bedroom, studio, kitchen, and stair core modules were constructed within UNITE’s own manufacturing facility at nearby Stonehouse before being transported by road, delivered to site as a completely waterproof unit and craned into position. The modules were simply stacked on top of one another, forming their own structural integrity. They were then clad externally with the final envelope finish which included brick, zinc and render.

Full-height windows with in-situ louvre panels, an integral feature of the overall design, maximise daylight to the internal spaces as well as providing secure and passive ventilation.