Bartholomew Road, Camden Student Accommodation, London Building, Kentish Town Property
Bartholomew Road, London
Camden Residential Development: Kentish Town Student Accommodation by Jestico + Whiles Architects
15 Oct 2009
Kentish Town Student Accommodation
Student Accommodation in Kentish Town Now Complete
Design: Jestico + Whiles
A refined new building by Jestico + Whiles for UNITE has opened its doors to students. This sustainable, modular development, on Bartholomew Road in Kentish Town, provides 54 selfcontained studios for students alongside 400 m2 of commercial space.
Photos by Francis Ware
The building is respectful of its sensitive context alongside the Torriano Cottages Conservation Area. It replaced a redundant 1970s office block, and employment use has been reprovided as speculative commercial space. The design creatively addresses issues of privacy, amenity and density on the constrained urban site.
Torriano Cottages, a quiet enclave of Victorian cottages, retains a surprisingly rural atmosphere for central London. The new building safeguards the cottages’ amenity and outlook. Its visual impact is mitigated by living roofs and walls, a sunken wing containing the commercial unit, and a set-back top storey.
On the rear elevation angled oriel windows redirect views away from the adjacent residential gardens and windows have been avoided on the top-storey corridor. The scale and window arrangement of the street facade reflect the neighbouring buildings on Bartholomew Road.
The external materials have been chosen to be robust and of high quality. Restrained brown brick and untreated zinc are enlivened by slatted timber accent panels and bright green glazed brick.
A central walkway gives access to the student accommodation and a landscaped garden containing timber and zinc bicycle and refuse stores. The commercial unit has its own entrance from the street.
The ground floor of the student wing contains communal and ancillary uses, such as a laundry and staff office, adjacent to the street and studios overlooking the garden. A stair and lift core leads to three identical floors above, made up of four different studio types. The fourth floor accommodates larger studios and flats.
These strata of uses are expressed through the cladding materials: glazed brick for the ground floor communal areas, brown brick for the studios, and zinc for the top floor flats.
The development, which has achieved a Very Good BREEAM rating, incorporates many environmental measures. Twenty percent of its energy demand is provided by wood-fuelled biomass heating. FSCcertified timber is used throughout – including larch cladding, a sustainable alternative to Western Red Cedar.
Other materials and products, such as water-based finishes and recycled newspaper pinboards, have been specified for their low environmental impact. Rainwater harvesting and soft planting ensure water is conserved and run-off is minimised. Native plant species have been selected for the roofs, planted wall and wildflower meadow to encourage biodiversity.
The building uses Modern Methods of Construction, reducing waste and minimising construction time. The modular steel student bedsits and bathroom pods were made offsite by UNITE’s subsidiary, UMS. Each unit is delivered to site complete with kitchens, furniture and finishes.
The ground and top floors had to be built in-situ to suit their irregular plans, and a transfer slab at first floor level supports the modules. The external brick cladding is supported from the first floor slab, and tied back to the modules. The stair core uses concrete twin-wall construction, which enabled it to be erected in under a week.
Jestico + Whiles acted as lead consultant and architect throughout the £’4.5 million project, which used a Design and Build procurement method, and has been well received by UNITE.
Student Accommodation Camden – Building Information
Architect: Jestico + Whiles
Client: UNITE Group
Contractor: Mansell Plc
Structural Engineer: Walsh Associates
Services Engineer: A & G Partnership Ltd; Atelier Ten; Swiftline
CDM Coordinator: Collaton Safety Management Ltd
Acoustic Consultant: RBA Acoustics
Fire Engineer: Fire Design Solutions
Planning Consultant: CgMs Ltd
Sustainability Consultant: AECOM
Landscape Architect: Place Design + Planning Ltd
Party Wall Surveyor: GVA Grimley
Photographs: Francis Ware
Kentish Town Student Accommodation images / information from Jestico + Whiles
Location: Kentish Town, North London, England, UK
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