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A STONE FACADE TO STUDENT ROOMS

Working details

The three-storey building contains 92 student study-bedrooms. It has concrete deck floors which rest on dense concrete blockwork loadbearing cross-walls, and is covered with a gently pitched pre-patinated zinc roof. Each student room is 5m deep, giving a choice of bed positions, and has a range of fitted units - a wardrobe, a cupboard, and a washbasin set in a composite laminate top - along one cross-wall. The rooms are arranged in pairs as mirror-images of each other so that two washbasins share a service duct on one cross-wall.

Each room has two windows: a tall 270mm-wide side-pivoting 'slot' adjacent to the storage wall and a 1345mm-wide floor-to-ceiling window which gives working light to a desk. An etched glass translucent panel below the desk contributes to the illumination at the back of the room. The windows are framed in polyester powder-coated aluminium with high-performance seals. All glazing can be cleaned from the interior.

The external walls are of Bath ashlar stone from the Stoke Ground quarry, and the modelling of the wall reflects the layout of the rooms behind: the stone plane of the study bedroom wall and windows is set back from the stone lintels, piers and nibs which lie in front of the floor slabs and cross-walls. This creates a deep sill in front of each room, lined with a polyester powder-coated aluminium sill-tray which is shaped to direct rainwater into a concealed downpipe. A 3250mm-long stone lintel and soffit backed with precast concrete spans the width of the rooms, resting on piers, independent of the internal loadbearing structure. The stone walling is 75mm thick and is self-supporting from ground level. It is tied to the blockwork wall with restraint fixings to allow for differential movement.

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