Hawkins\Brown and Campus Living Villages are working together to improve the student experience at Goldsmith’s University.
At Surrey House, Raymont Hall and Chesterman House the challenge was to create sophisticated renovations of the existing building stock which dates from the turn of the century and the 1960’s and add new interventions to provide for the increasing numbers of students. We were also asked to rebrand the sites with a new identity and to improve accessibility and visibility. All all worked require completing in challenging time scales to minimise disruption at term time.
Sensitive Approach | Fresh Identity
The aim of the project is to enhance the experience for Goldsmiths’ students, create a fresh identity, produce new sociable living environments and increase the occupancy. Our approach focuses on integrating the new buildings into the existing neighbourhood contexts and creating contemporary architecture to enhance the locality.
Surrey House, which matches brick tones of existing Surrey Old House, cantilevers the main entrance to mark its new presence, whilst being subservient to the existing street. Raymont Hall, located within Brockley conservation area, uses charred timber cladding for the new garden building and the complementary extension to the existing brick building. Accessibility is improved with new step free entrance ramps. These are integrated with the landscape design of the three sites to create a coherent and unified landscape strategy.
We are keen to improve student experience by providing more social spaces and a choice of room types from affordable cluster rooms, a range of ensuite rooms, and some large studio rooms in the older Victorian mansions. We develop high quality bespoke plywood joinery for each bedroom type and shared kitchen for a fun, refreshing and homey feel. The proposal will deliver 440 rooms, of which are 71 new rooms. Each block will have their own identity and community spirit but also allow a blank canvas for Goldsmiths' students to personalise their bedrooms.
Working from the Inside Out
As part of our proposals, we have tried to pick up on the trend of a more grown up approach to the student residential sector’s interior design. In the past some student accommodation has the potential to be quite patronising in its use of bright primary colours and institutional style laminate finishes. The use of plywood and more neutral tones in the Goldsmiths/CLV project moves away from this; presenting a more grown up but homely environment. This also allows students to put their own personal stamp on the rooms without a too dominant interior. The approach is respectful of the increasing investment students need to place in their studies and the importance of their environment.