The Meadows site is situated in the southern corner of the Essex ‘Knowledge Gateway’, a new extension of the University’s Colchester campus. The development will provide two distinct living styles; 420 en-suite bedrooms will be arranged in ‘cluster’ type flats, each accommodating between 5 and 7 students with a shared kitchen, whilst the remaining 228 bedrooms are to be located in individual 4-storey townhouses, each with a shared open-plan living space with kitchen/diner at the entrance level.
The buildings create a formal landscaped courtyard enclosed by the ‘wall’ of larger cluster blocks, accessible through secure gated openings, and providing a shared amenity space. Outside this space is an ‘organic’ setting, a public space with paths formed along and through an existing avenue of trees, leading off to the main campus to the east. A pavilion will house common facilities for residents bringing together students living in the individual blocks.
To mitigate what might otherwise be a monolithic external elevation, a sense of vitality has been introduced through the creative use of colour-blending across the facade, an architectural motif that continues around the site perimeter, extending across the terraced townhouses and creating a seemingly random interplay of stripes across the glazed wall of the pavilion's elevated common room, capturing in one location the same ‘colour wheel’ that is played out around the site.
The project was completed for occupation in the 2013-14 academic year.