March 26, 2011
In this students’ dormitory, the focus of our design is the quality of the housing we are providing. Here, the size of the project and the zoning envelope require a double loaded corridor as the primary organizational system. We have animated this sequence with a series of internal courts that are linked together throughout the building. In addition to enlivening the circulation sequence, these spaces become the lungs of the building. Fresh air enters at the ground floor from the rear garden and rises through the entire building section, exhausting at the roof. In this way, all of the units benefit from natural cross ventilation despite having only one exterior exposure.
The pressures of economy prompt the architects to exploit the structural redundancy of the shop built module. By taking advantage of the added structural capacity needed to transport the modules, the architects incrementally cantilever the units in and out, thereby animating the overall section and providing space for the interior courts. Moreover, the zoning code setback is achieved dynamically over the façade, breaking down the scale while maintaining the identity of the building. The colour of the interior courts telegraphs through the thickness of the units to the windows, acknowledging the link back to the main campus and addressing the pedestrian approach along Grand Avenue.
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