HLM’s finely crafted design solution for the new student village at St. Andrews university (Powell & Whitehan Halls) creates a striking addition to its unique landscape setting on Scotland’s east coast, its elegant proportions and fine detailing sitting comfortably alongside mature tree specimens. The solution looked to achieve just an elegant visual outcome, its form and layout contributing positively to the sense of community within the campus and bringing shared academic spaces into the heart of the village.
In a careful response to the unique character of St. Andrews and its immediate campus context, our design creates a series of collegiate style quads which are highly considered and sensitive to the existing listed buildings of the old wing; subtly evolving the qualities and features of the high quality Scottish baronial buildings and roofscapes, reinforcing and harmonising their character to develop a great sense of place.
The new buildings are designed to have a wide array of common spaces to foster communication between different student demographics and intellectual disciplines; as well as between students and their facilities and tutors.
The central concepts of community, connection and adaptability creates choices of setting to the learning environment, fostering both trust and responsibility in the student/tutor relationship – but also a learning environment in which the student is comfortable and receptive to learning.
The shared living and teaching spaces are located in key prominent locations both externally & internally, giving true character to both settings; their typical expression of projecting polished concrete bays clearly reflecting the character of the adjacent heritage assets.
The buildings themselves are characterised externally by their considered response to the surrounding botanical aesthetic, their considered detailing and contemporary zinc pitched roofs adding to and complementing the heritage qualities of what is now a highly successful place; both as a community and as a visual landscape.
The colour palette adopted is also clearly referenced and sympathetic to the surrounding sandstone, the polished concrete detailing and brickwork masonry also providing an appropriate robustness both visually and practically; successfully delivering a long-life expectancy and how low maintenance outlays.