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Location: Vincents Walk, Southampton

Client: Danehurst

Value: £15m

Status: Planning granted December 2023

Firehouse PBSA

A High-end Purpose-Built Student Accommodation scheme in the heart of Southampton, this tight urban site achieves 139 studio apartments in a building of 8 – 13 storeys. Having previously gained approval for a market residential scheme of similar scale, ArchitecturePLB worked closely with the Southampton City Council planning and design officers, and Historic England, to ensure that this prominent site on the edge of the Listed Central Parks represents the highest possible architectural response, while also mitigating impacts on local heritage assets, such as the Bargate through the careful selection of external materials. To complement the studio-based accommodation, high quality communal spaces are proposed, included a lounge, gym, cinema and high level dining room.

The scheme takes a sculptural architectural approach with stone wraps containing a patchwork of windows and brise soleil; these elements all come together to also passively mitigate the impacts of climate change by minimising overheating and energy use.

A simple material palette is proposed, with the focus being placed on using select high quality materials with a high standard of detailing. In order to emphasise the vertical presence, the north and south façades to the 13 storey element, and the western facade of the 8 storey element are to be clad in reconstituted stone cladding panels. This creates a strong contrast and emphasises the depth in the west and east facing fenestration, enhancing the sculptural appearance of the scheme as a landmark building.

The stone material will give gentle colour and texture variations. The stone proposed is buff in tone, reflecting heritage assets within the proximity of the development, in particular Portland Road and the stone surrounds of adjoining buildings.

The scheme also represents a Higher-Risk Building under the Building Safety Act. Having successfully negotiated Gateway 1 through the planning system, we are proceeding towards Gateway 2.