Southend Student Housing

Value: withheld
Client: Hollybrook Homes
Construction: November 2008 – September 2010

The University of Essex has two campuses – the original site on the outskirts of Colchester and the more recent urban site in the coastal town of Southend. The increase in foreign students wanting to study in the UK has affected Essex and the Southend campus is an answer to that need.

The three blocks of housing for 500 students, are wrapped around the perimeter of the site to provide a safe internal courtyard for student use. At one corner of the site the building becomes more of a landmark where the building is at its tallest and this façade carries a triple-faced clock.

What is striking about the project is its brave use of colour in the elevational treatment using high performance laminate panels made by Trespa. Four colours were chosen: green, blue, red and yellow with contrasting use of black, grey and white. As cladding for the prefabricated construction system the colour energises the repetitive façades and gives the University an unmistakable identity in the town.