pdp architecture llp were commissioned by A2 Winchester Housing Assoc. in January 2004 to prepare a scheme for 70+ bedroom residential block for students, on an area of hard standing currently used for car parking to the North of the exisitng accommodation blocks.

In recent years Winchester has seen an increase in the need for student accommodation, mostly due to the expansion of the University of Winchester, and continued popularity of Winchester school of Art ( which is part of Southampton University) and Sparlshot College ( 3 miles outside of Winchester)

The river Itchen valley being both SAC ( Special Areas of Conservation) and SSSI ( Site of Special Scietific Interest) land, is to the west of our site, the boundary has dense scrub on a chalk bank dropping down towards the river valley.

East side of the site is occupied by the Wykeham Industrial estate and the boundary consists of dense scrub on a chalk bank rising up to the factory units.
To provide a buffer zone along side both east and west boundaries to protect
existing vegetation and provide route for future maintenance access around the perimeter of the building.

The existing vehicle and pedestrian accesses to the site would remain, but parking bays would be relocated and re-instated. Due to the existing topography of the site, the proposed block would have a finished floor level lower than both the existing residential block and the industrial units to the east side. Therefore it was felt that a five storey building would not impinge on the Winchester skyscape.

Considering these perameters the final scheme is a linear building with a circulation core acting as the spine running north to south parallel to the existing access routes, with the accommodation block bolted on to this circulation core.

The main accommodation block due to its orientation would benefit from early morning and evening sun and is similar in massing to the existing block.

The communal facilities, that is the living rooms/dining rooms/ kitchens in turn form the corner bays and provide extensive views and ample daylight to these spaces.

The development creates 72 bedrooms with en-suite shower facilities arranged in clusters of 6 on 5 floors.The east wing is raised on structural columns for the first two floors to accommodate the vehicle access route.

The fenestration and external materials have been designed and chosen to reflect the purpose of the internal spaces which can be easily read both internally and externally. Use of natural materials such as brick and timber is sympathatic to the setting of this block. The intention is to have an understated approach to this block, sympathetic to the existing blocks and the surrounding landscape and not to overwhelm but to blend.