• Client Unite Students

  • Type Master Planning

  • Location Bristol

A challenging site contextually, topographically and socially, this provided Rio with one of the most formidable projects in its history.

Architecturally, one of the most crucial aspects of the design was to design a façade for student accommodation which avoided the monotonous modular rhythm of student bedrooms usually associated with this typology. This was achieved by grouping windows together over floors and offsetting windows to avoid regular patterns. The façades have a hierarchy of expression with living areas given more prominence than bedrooms. Ground floor levels contain public and semi-public spaces to help animate street level and create active frontages. The overall student element is broken down into a series of pavilion blocks with an interlinking element providing a common thread.

The medical school and commercial offices have been combined into one building with independent accesses off Whitson Street and Lower Maudlin Street. The mass of the building steps down in height towards the sensitive boundary with the conservation area and the Grade I listed St. James Priory. The northern façade of the offices utilises a translucent material to allow light penetration into the floor plates whilst preserving the privacy for the student block opposite.