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working details

The hostel building is four storeys including a basement which, following the traditional street pattern, is set below pavement level on the street side; at the rear it forms the lowest level of the south facade and faces a courtyard and garden.

The construction, a steel frame with concrete beam and block floors, has insulated cavity walls of concrete block and buff facing brick, and a composite steel roof.

On the south facade the basement and ground floor project to form a gently curving bay, glazed with grey polyester powder-coated steel windows and clad with vertical cedar boarding. The bay encloses a staff corridor and a bedroom in the basement, and reception rooms and a living room on the ground floor. The size and disposition of windows - from clerestory to fullyglazed - reflects the differences between public and private rooms.

The curve of the bay is emphasised by a strongly articulated eaves fascia consisting of a curved 305 x 76mm steel channel with a 200 x 100mm steel angle welded to its top flange. The bold shapes of these elements and the strong shadows they cast make the depth of the fascia less apparent; it conceals the profiled steel roof and its slope to a valley gutter.

The cedar wall is designed to appear as a free-standing element; its vertical edges, trimmed with aluminium angles and flanges, are exposed and one edge of the wall is extended by 900mm to overlap a recess at basement level.

The junction between the top edge of the cedar wall and the clerestory above it, is covered with a projecting fin-like aluminium sill.

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