New Sydney student accommodation design aims to foster social interaction
Plus Architecture has designed a new building for student accommodation on the campus of Moore Theological College in Newtown, Sydney, with an emphasis on encouraging interactions. Through scale, morphology and materiality, the John Chapman House serves as an intermediary between academic facilities and the surrounding context defined by busy roads, heritage sites and high-rise buildings, while providing students with a network of meeting spaces promoting collaboration and conviviality.
In order to offer a new experience of life on campus, the redevelopment requires the demolition of two existing structures from the 1950s; however, it establishes a dialogue with the existing architecture. “An important part of our process consisted of evaluating which elements existing on the site could have contributed the most to the result”, says Rido Pin, design director at Plus Architecture. The design is defined by two structures, of six and four floors respectively, connected by a volume of glass housing community spaces.
The ground floor provides a permeable connection with the garden, while the open staircases connecting the community rooms become another opportunity for social interaction. Common facilities include a rooftop pavilion, gym, cinema, kitchen and barbecue area. The design includes 103 bedrooms, as well as 1 and 4 bedroom apartments to accommodate students and teachers, singles and families.
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The facades alternate materiality, the sandstone cladding establishing a dialogue with heritage buildings, while the silver screens offer the redevelopment a contemporary image. The entry is the winning design in a 2019 competition hosted by Moore College. Construction is expected to begin in 2022, with a completion date scheduled for 2023.