Royal Veterinary College\

Sensitive response to a greenbelt setting

The new student accommodation, refectory and conferencing facilities sensitively respond to their greenbelt setting without compromising on quality.

The scheme is organised as a collection of three and four storey timber clad pavilions. The spaces between the pavilions provide intimate courtyards that are already becoming popular with the students.

We worked hard with the Estates Team to ensure that the scheme is appropriate to the students and the location. Each flat is provided with a generous shared kitchen and living area together with six ensuite bedrooms. There are 190 rooms in total.

The project achieved BREEAM Very Good by including such measures as cycle parking, water and energy management, solar hot-water, grey water recycling and use of sustainable materials in construction. Prefabrication was used extensively for the bathrooms that were fully constructed off-site, as well as parts of the external envelope.

“Hawkins\Brown’s buildings have an enjoyable and permanent character, which is down to the controlled use of materials on the exterior. Beautiful brick, nicely detailed timber, and bronzed, perforated metal for staircases sit easily in the landscape.”

Keiran Long Evening Standard

“We are delighted that this project has won two RIBA awards. The new accommodation has been designed to a high standard and has greatly helped us to improve our student experience at our Hertfordshire campus.”

Alasdair Esson Director of Estates and Facilities Management at the Royal Veterinary College

Project Summary


  • BD Architect of the Year Awards 2013 - Education (Sixth Form - University) - Shortlisted
  • RIBA Awards 2012 - East Regional Education Award - Winner
  • RIBA Awards 2012 - RIBA Award - Winner

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