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Student Accommodations Design Project, Student Hall, Private Area, 2018

Re-designing a student accommodation configuration to deliver increased capacity comes with novel challenges as any plans have to take into account the lifestyle and requirements of the average student who will not only be sharing facilities with others, but will also only be living in the accommodation for a relatively short period of time (typically anywhere from a few months to 2 years when taking holidays in the academic timetable into account).

Whilst working at Perkins + Will architects, Ana assisted with the space planning, area calculations and design conceptualisation included within RIBA Stages 2 & 3 of this project.

The design team was tasked with providing revised layouts for university accommodation that would house more university students than the existing build could. Several similar rooms would still cater for one person each. The difficulty was in designing lodgings that were all very similar (to save on both cost and complexity) but also catered to the needs of the individual inhabiting them without the surroundings feeling too drab and basic and the new layout too confined.

Each room is furnished with a bathroom (inclusive of a toilet & sink), a bed, a desk and storage space for learning materials and other items. One important improvement on the previous layout was that showers were included within each room whereas once they were communal. A window at the rare of each room permits natural light to flow in, illuminating most, if not all, of the room thanks to its straight and compact design.

Floors are set-out rather like a an E-shape or trident with each prong a corridor populated with rooms on both sides and culminating in a communal kitchen that allows students to prepare meals. Separate break-out rooms are also present and these allow students to congregate and socialise out of the way of the kitchens and without blocking the corridors, both of which could present risks to safety (in the case of a fire, for instance).

This scheme is repeated on all floors of the build to provide capacity for 311 students (an increase of 182 on the figure of 129 available in the old scheme).

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