The Client was dissatisfied with the functionality and overall bland aesthetic of the existing student common areas. Our solution has been to exploit the building’s canal side location, creating a much-improved link to the waterside and to reorganize the zoning to present a more coherent and rationalised series of spaces. The scheme will engage residents to enjoy and explore what is currently a very underutilised area of the building, encouraging interactions at a variety of scales and forms and offering an animated arrival experience.
The existing common spaces had a series of level changes that required the use of a platform lift for wheelchair users. We have approached the refurbishment as an opportunity to provide a more considered solution, incorporating a feature sloped floor into the design strategy, to overcome the changes in levels and the need for lift assistance. The design offers all building users ease of access and the ability to experience every aspect of the social and study spaces.
Given the footprint was relatively confined, Tigg + Coll had to explore in this design how to overlap student uses. Be that lecture space or cinema, gaming area or communal study space, the client was keen for us to make sure that as student needs change through out the university year the new spaces needed to be able to adapt accordingly. Through careful materiality changes and placement of specific pieces of fitted joinery Tigg + Coll have been able to subtly define activity within an effective open plan environment. As a result users can navigate space intuitively, understanding the use of space, in effect ‘self curating’ as students feel they wish to engage with each other at different points in the year.