St Marks Lincoln, UK
The development of a new student village in the heart of Lincoln follows the 2017 outline planning approval received for the redevelopment of St. Mark’s Shopping Centre. Our design takes reference from both the masterplan, and the neighbouring University of Lincoln’s Brayford Pool Campus.
Appointed by Aberdeen Standard, we have taken the opportunity to develop, integrate and enhance the masterplan proposals to deliver a detailed vision for the student accommodation. Homes for 1372 students are provided across 10 buildings, ranging from 4 to 10 storeys in height.
Associated internal and external amenity space, cycle storage and management facilities complete the development, seeking to provide a cohesive student community within the heart of Lincoln, significantly on the campus doorstep.
The overarching concept for the proposals is to create a holistic ‘student village’, a place that residents can identify as home within a busy city location. This approach has informed the design on a macro and micro scale; from masterplan to facade detail.
The approved outline application included a design that set out a series of buildings of varying heights around semi-private courtyards. This theme has been maintained, whilst being developed to respond to environmental and occupational issues.
Rather than enclosing the courtyards with L-shaped blocks, a series of linear buildings meander through the site allowing daylight penetration to the amenity spaces, following the natural flow of the site northwards towards St. Marks and the city beyond.
The twisted building forms ensure that bedroom windows avoid direct overlooking, and provide variation to the size and form of the courtyard spaces between. This intentionally provides a hierarchy to the ‘in-between’ spaces, with the larger courtyards placed where gatherings can be expected and promoted.
The progression in height with distance from the main carriageway preserves views to the Cathedral and City to the North, and places the larger buildings in a location to lesson impact upon Tritton Road.
The architectural treatment follows a set of established principles, providing a coherent identity to the student village, whilst each building takes on individual characteristics and details to provide variety at both street level and from long-ranging views.
Whilst the development is comprised clearly of ten buildings, these forms are sub-divided to reduce scale and facilitate change in character. Typically, the centralised core to each building is identified by a contrasting material, breaking the roofline and elevational rhythm. This serves two functions; reducing the apparent mass along with communicating the internal organisation of cluster apartments arranged around a central core.
The selection of material tone reflects the dialogue held with the City Council, with a range of brickwork and cladding materials responding to both immediate context, university, and the city beyond.
The new student village has an important role to play in the redevelopment of St. Marks. Whilst kick-starting the redevelopment of St.Marks, the design respectfully ensures historic views are preserved whilst an progressive urban scale is implemented.
The new community contributes to the vitality of the area with a residential use providing extended hours of activity beyond the neighbouring commercial uses.
The building forms consciously promote pedestrian movement from the south, acknowledging this area of future growth. ‘A connecting piece of the jigsaw’.
A restrained palette of high-quality materials provides contextual reference and continuity across the development, resulting in a series of buildings that will stand the test of time.