Another from the archives of completed projects, this time the conversion of a pair of Georgian seaside townhouses to provide a 33 room student accommodation building.
Our approach to this project was to create as many rooms as possible, so as to maximise our client’s rental income, without sacrificing the provision of spacious rooms. The early sketch appraisals highlighted the need to use the roof spaces to provide additional rooms, something which the local authority conservation team were reluctant to support due to the potentially damaging effect on the conservation area.
We addressed this reluctance by extensively modelling the proposals to produce a visual impact assessment, or VIA, to demonstrate how little the roof modifications would adversely impact the conservation area. The images below show the existing building, on the left and the proposed roof modifications, on the right. The proposed dormers can just be seen above the existing parapet. The sectional drawing below illustrates the sightline of a pedestrian on the promenade, reinforcing the fact that the roof modifications would only just appear above the parapet.
Our efforts achieved planning success for our client and we were appointed to support him through funding and construction stages, with the project being completed, after a 12 month construction period, in time for new student occupants in September of 2014. Feedback from the university and from the new occupants has consistently been positive. The image below was produced to show just how bright the sea-facing rooms would be and a key part of the feedback has been how popular the seaward rooms are.
An important aspect in the provision of student accommodation is balancing the number of study/bedrooms with the provision of communal spaces. Our approach for this project was to provide a maximum of six rooms per communal kitchen/dining area in a ‘cluster’ arrangement. The ground floor plan below illustrates this approach. It also shows the provision of ensuite bedrooms and an external space that is accessible for every occupant. These ingredients have all combined to make the building a very popular one for the students and university alike.