Halls of residence, Royal Holloway University of London

  • Location

    Egham, Surrey

  • Client

    Royal Holloway, University of London

  • Value

    Phase 1 - £18.2m approx, Phase 2 - £18.7m approx

  • Completion

    Phase 1 - 2004, Phase 2 - 2007

  • Size

    Phase 1 - 570 beds, Phase 2 - 400 beds

A phased 1000 bed scheme in the grounds of a Grade I listed house

Phase One: Gowar and Wedderburn Halls

Located on a site surrounded entirely by mature woodland in the grounds of the Grade I Listed Founder’s Building at Royal Holloway, the fundamental concept of this sensitive 1,036 en-suite bedroom project was to retain the spirit of the setting and impact as lightly as possible on the local ecology.

The undulating planted roof, which visually responds to the deciduous trees surrounding the site, is the only element that is visible from the surrounding area. Despite its apparent complexity, the design uses simple identical accommodation blocks to maximise opportunities for prefabrication and standardisation of components.

Phase Two: Butler, Williamson and Tuke Halls

The design for the second phase is based on bedroom and kitchen modules built in the initial phase, with overall layout and choice of external materials developed to reflect the existing buildings immediately surrounding the site. We took the opportunity to develop and refine aspects of phase 1 to achieve optimum maintenance and value for money solutions, and to resolve long-standing issues associated with vehicular circulation on the campus.

The tight physical constraints, close proximity to existing halls of residence (which remained in use throughout the construction period) and sensitive planning context meant that this project had to be organised to minimise disruption.