Design Concept - siting and massing
The site is located adjacent to the Amory Building, in the heart of one of the most densely developed areas of the campus and is well served by both existing vehicular and pedestrian routes.
The site is steeply sloping, falling approximately 4 metres north to south and 6 metres east to west into the wooded Valley Park, with the fall being less pronounced at the northern end. This has had a profound influence on the design of the building, with the most practical and economical form of construction being to create a multi-storey building with as compact a footprint that is compatible with the required adjacencies of the accommodation housed. This strategy minimises the fall from one side of the building to the other and necessitates the use of only one ‘step’ in the building structure, forming a single basement level.
The sloping nature of the site and proximity of Valley Park to the west creates the opportunity to exploit medium and long distance views west and south across the campus and beyond towards Exeter City. The proposed building has been designed to take advantage of the views
Conceptually the design creates a compact 3 storey structure (basement plus 2 upper floors with a rooftop plant deck), planned as a rectangular form (approximately 18m wide by 32m long) in a north-south orientation, stepping down a south facing slope and sitting across a west facing slope.
The ambitious environmental objectives of the design empathises with the centre’s ethos and is central to the design inspiration. The downhill ‘cascade’ of the lightweight cladding from the upper to lower level, as the building steps down the sloping site, is intended to conceptualise the importance of water flowing over earth (signified by the masonry base) to the central mission of CREWW. The strategically positioned circular windows reflect rising air bubbles emanating from cascading water traversing a parkland setting.