Affordable and sustainable housing for students and staff and Peninsular Medical School in Cornwall
Burwell Architects have designed and delivered a student housing development for the Peninsula Dental School at Truro for the University of Plymouth. The project has created 232 rooms in total, 180 standard with shared facilities and 52 en-suite. Divided over seven blocks, each block consists of eight flats, with 3-5 rooms per flat, each fully fitted with contemporary furniture and appliances.
Creating a sense of home was one of the key aims of the project. Set amongst the existing landscape, the residences are both a place for engagement and of tranquillity. Within each house, dual aspect living arrangements allow for well lit spaces, with communal areas promoting interactivity and communication.
The brief called for a project that embeds environmental awareness and incorporates services that enhance its environmental performance, reflecting the University's broader commitment to sustainability across its estate. By repeating the building forms and using a sustainable timber construction the scheme implements low carbon, environmental and low energy strategies achieving a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rated design. Energy is minimised through intelligent design that incorporates air tightness. Use of daylight and natural ventilation is maximised, ensuring that the building’s quality of light, environmental condition and acoustics is suitable for living, sleeping and personal study. The wellness and comfort of the residents was paramount.
A sustainably sourced timber frame clad with Western Red Cedar panels sits above dark brick at ground floor. The cluster of buildings around a ventral, car-free, pedestrian area generates useable and enjoyable outdoor space at the heart of the community. Keeping cars at the periphery of the site avoids hard standings and allows use of a 100% free draining Nidagravel surface, which supports the sustainable urban drainage strategy (SUDS), further reinforcing the environmental credentials of the design.
Client: University of Plymouth
Lead Architect: Burwell
Project Manager: Turner and Townsend
Structural Engineer: Curtins Consulting Ltd.
Services Engineer: Halcrow Yolles
Quantity Surveyor: Gadiner and Theobald
Form of Contract: Design and Build