Student Accommodation, Southampton
Khoury Architects has gained planning approval from Southampton City Council for 120 student accommodation units and 2 commercial spaces on the site of one of the Bank of England’s former premises. A thorough analysis of the city centre site as well as a pre-application submission in December 2016 identified the opportunities and constraints of the scheme location:
- Development of a vacant brownfield site is in line with national and local planning policy
- Orientation of site west to east maximises light exposure
- Frontage to Southampton High Street affords good access into the site
- The C3 building class use is acceptable and aligns with the City’s requirements
- The site is suitable for student accommodation being in a prime city centre location with good access to both Solent University and Southampton University
- Existing building is locally listed and vacant which makes it a hazard to the area due to the dubious activities that take place there
- Adjacent buildings are listed and locally listed
Khoury Architects proposed 125 student accommodation units, a restaurant and a gymnasium covering a total building footprint of 780 square metres, leaving 547 square metres of open land for parking and amenity.
Khoury Architects’ proposals retain and embrace the existing architectural
design and materiality, while enhancing the area through high quality modern design with a scale befitting a landmark development.
- The façade of the existing Heritage Asset is retained, with the new commercial spaces being constructed to the rear
- The frameless glass fronted elements facing the High Street allow views in and out and reduce the impact on the existing Portland Stone façade
- Ribbed masonry cladding provides a complementary yet modern masonry element to the build. This is mixed with light stone cladding that references the materiality of the old bank
- The stone detailing and fine rubbed and moulded brick of adjacent buildings prompts further use of stone and masonry, yet in a modern manner, to the rear accommodation block.
- The facades are animated to provide passive solar shading to the glazed areas.
The scale and massing of the proposed buildings have been determined by the sensitivity of their surroundings and current planning legislation. The proposals deliberately adopt a transitional scale, from three storeys at the front to five towards the rear, to reflect the heights of the neighbouring buildings. The top storey of the commercial block, which sits at the front of the site, is stepped back from the existing façade and boundaries to present a stepped roof-scape to the High Street.
Khoury Architects led the pre-planning submission and co-ordinated all information required for the submission of a full planning application. This included a landscaping proposal, ventilation & heritage statements, a Transport Plan, a geo-environmental site assessment and archaeology, drainage & student accommodation demand reports. We also managed a visualisation artist who generated computer images to illustrate how the proposed scheme would work contextually and aesthetically alongside neighbouring buildings. Khoury Architects also had to generate a design with consideration for Southampton City Council’s desire to achieve an Excellent BREEAM rating.