The elevations of the main building are deliberately fragmented with an articulated façade, over a unifying brick base. The varying heights and the changes in the colour of the cladding strengthen this effect and ensure that the building appears like it has developed organically. This helps to address the differing scales of the surrounding context, from 2 storey to 5 storey, and breaks down the mass of the building giving it a vertical emphasis. A semi basement area under part of the building provides ancillary accommodation, plant and storage for the student housing.
The new ‘gatehouse’ building replaces an existing gap in the terrace along Hollingdean Road with a building that announces the entrance to the courtyard and makes a positive contribution to the street scene in the area.
The units on the western part of the site are designed as ‘townhouses’ which accommodate cluster units that contain seven study bedrooms and ancillary accommodation. Each ‘townhouse’ has its own front door so that the residents have an element of independence from the main block of accommodation.
The façades are less domestic in appearance, presenting a harder shell to the outside while the courtyard elevations have a softer appearance to address the backs of the terraced houses that front onto Hollingdean Road.
The buildings are wrapped around the southern and eastern edges of the site to create a landscaped courtyard at the heart of the development.
The landscaping of the courtyard softens and enhances the appearance of the site for the residents, and is designed as an urban ‘pocket park’ with permeable paving surfaces broken up with areas of shrub planting. Green ‘living’ walls feature on a number of the buildings, service ramp and multi-storey car park, to soften the appearance, increase biodiversity and provide a pleasant outlook.