Completed June 2016
UNITE, Far Gosford Street, Coventry
The scheme is comprised of a student accommodation building with 286 rooms and three commercial units at ground floor level. The student accommodation area at ground floor consists of a main reception area & office, common room & games area, quiet study room, laundry and waste facilities as well an internal and external cycle stores. Completed in 2016 the design of the proposal adopted a pragmatic approach in which no particular style dominates.
This flexibility in style allows the development to match the context of Far Gosford Street and the rest of the Far Gosford Street Conservation Area, which is very diverse and contains a number of architectural styles and materials to create a rich street pattern. Along Far Gosford Street there are a number of high quality listed timber framed buildings from the 15th-17th Century, as well as examples of Georgian and Victorian buildings.
The mass of the new proposal is broken into sections to relate to the differing styles of context that surround the site. Each block within the building has its own particular style. The largest block, which is closest to the city centre, is designed to reflect the city centre and the university buildings nearby. The use of contemporary terracotta cladding, irregular window patterns and a modern, curved form reflect a type of building associated with the city centre.
The subsequent blocks change in style, form and use of materials to address the journey from the city centre to Far Gosford Street. Red brick is used to fit the predominant style of the existing buildings in this area. There was a particular attempt not to step the buildings continuously through the scheme which would have looked somewhat contrived.