Future of Student Accommodation

Location: UK
Type: Competition & Pitch
Client: Archiboo, UPP
Duration: 2022

Okra were finalists in Archiboo and UPP’s pitch competition to create a new model for the future of student accommodation across the UK. Our proposal is underpinned by research into how to support privacy for students and reduce stresses associated with high density accommodation, whilst facilitating the development of community and alleviating social isolation.

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We proposed construction with radically low carbon materials, including GLULAM and timber frame and breathable insulation to create healthy, spacious environments. Students would have acoustic and thermal control over their environments, alleviating tensions that can be associated with co-living models. All internal spaces are designed to be functional, to feel non-institutional and to support activities through a range of social scales, from the individual, through small, medium and large groups.

 

Buildings are designed using co-housing principles and flexible between low-medium rise, to allow the knitting into existing urban grains and to reduce the overshadowing of public spaces. The organisation of buildings to the perimeter ensures efficient use of urban space and the opportunity for communal gardens at the centre of the scheme, responding to a growing interest of young people in reconnecting with nature, increasing biodiversity and providing opportunities for transient student populations to connect with residents around.