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AJ Student Prize 2020: University of Wolverhampton

The student selected for the AJ Student Prize by University of Wolverhampton

About the School of Architecture and the Built Environment

  • Courses BSc (Hons) Architecture
  • Location Wolverhampton
  • Head of school Colin Orr
  • Full-time tutors 7
  • Part-time tutors 2
  • Students 27
  • Staff to student ratio 1:3
  • Fees UK/EU £9,250

Undergraduate

Rasha Shrourou, BSc (Hons) Architecture

9 r shrourou wlv elevation

9 r shrourou wlv elevation

Project title Wolverhampton East Park Gateway: The Monmore Tower

Project description Monmore Green is an area of Wolverhampton approximately 1 mile south-east of the city centre, in the East Park district. Historically divided by multiple infrastructures connecting Wolverhampton to Birmingham and the rest of the country, the area is dominated by industrial buildings and brownfield sites except for the west side, where there are new housing developments. This huge infrastructure thread fractures the area, but here is the main resource for a regeneration process with a pedestrian-oriented masterplan creating a welcoming and accessible urban environment. The new building’s form promotes complex interactions and encourages public space-making: from commercial to residential, educational to recreational. The void at the centre of the tower allows cross-views to its context, while the public four-storey atrium provides a dynamic and lively space promoting a sense of community with a cultural and learning hub. Both the atrium and the void are core to the tower’s environmental strategy, allowing natural ventilation throughout the whole building. Above this communal area, the building contains a hotel, office spaces, luxury apartments, a wellness centre, restaurants and cafés.

Tutor citation Rasha’s design pushes the brief and, rather than being just an iconic building, The Monmore Tower is a piece of the city, and challenges the exhausted high-rise building typology. The core of the building is the public space, using its voids rather than the mass to create a permeable environment, where the city life is instilled like blood. The unusual shape encourages the users to explore the building, giving life to the area. Luigi Pintacuda