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Š architects design partnership llp



“We continue to offer our full support for this scheme, which we believe to be exemplary. Its success lies in the depth of the analysis, the quality of the approach and the convincing way in which these have informed the proposal. We particularly welcome the quality of the student housing, which we believe sets a standard which should (but sadly, rarely is), considered the norm for this building type.” - Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) Design Review for ADP’s masterplan and design for Swanborough House, The University of Sussex

© architects design partnership llp



Our Practice

At ADP, we believe that architecture has the power to transform. This ability to change our physical world means that architecture has an intrinsic effect upon quality of life. We ensure that people – their needs, both physical and emotional – are at the heart of our design process.

ADP was founded in 1965 and has grown to become one of the most respected and stable practices in the United Kingdom. The practice is currently ranked within the top 25 of the Architect’s Journal AJ100 Annual Survey of UK practices, and is accredited to both ISO14001 environmental, and ISO9001 quality, standards.

Our designs for Higher Education institutions (HEIs) across the UK are some of the best examples of our philosophy in practice. We have an established reputation and body of work that reflects our commitment to our clients, their individual requirements, and the needs of learners of all ages. We deliver critically-acclaimed, award-winning HE buildings where learners are inspired, challenged, and supported. Our HEI clients operate within an increasingly competitive and international environment, where enhancing the student experience and leveraging the assets of their estates is an important component in delivering a competitive edge. We ensure the HE buildings we deliver make the most of assets available, are hard-working and provide real solutions to challenges both present, and on the horizon.

From our original office in Henley, servicing clients in the Thames Valley area, ADP has grown to international standing and now has studios in Birmingham, Delhi NCR, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Oxford and Sherborne.

Placing people - undergraduates, postgraduates, teaching staff and administrators - at the centre of our work means we celebrate difference: each project, each client and each community is unique, with individual aspirations and requirements. As a result, the solutions we deliver are bespoke, the product of close engagement with our clients and thoroughly analysing a particular site. This understanding arises from a consistent, diligent process. We examine the site with rigour and sensitivity, unlocking its potential through creative, inspiring design concepts. Consideration creates clarity in our designs: emerging from intelligent analysis, our architecture has an elegant simplicity, intimately connected to context and need. Our buildings are not about fashion, or a predetermined style. They embody powerful, simple ideas delivered well; solutions that just feel right, fitting both their setting and their purpose. This philosophy creates architectural intelligence: a concept that embodies the analysis, science, design and engineering of intelligent structures. These should serve and celebrate people. This results in architecture that inspires: both appropriate and sustainable, contextual and contemporary.

Our combined resources of over 100 staff operating from 7 regional studios, 6 in the UK and 1 in India, gives us an international perspective and a proven capacity to handle major commissions. This is combined with the flexibility to serve our clients from friendly local studios. With the ability to offer architecture, interior design, landscape design and environmental assessments, we offer our clients a complete, integrated service. This means we comprehensively consider spaces both inside and out, and we also have considerable and award-winning technical knowledge of masterplanning and heritage architecture to help clients realise the full potential of even the most challenging, or sensitive, sites. LEFT AND COVER IMAGE: WOODLAND COURT, THE UNIVERSITY OF BATH ADP’s design for Woodland Court intimately reflects the context that surrounds the site. The building forms are arranged around a threesided courtyard, with the fourth open side facing the natural landscape. This minimises the impact of the building on the landscape, and allows natural light and air into the scheme. It has also helped to create external spaces of a quality normally associated with the quadrangle layout of Oxbridge colleges, providing high quality spaces for students to relax and socialise outside. For more information, please see page 17. PREVIOUS IMAGE: SWANBOROUGH RESIDENCES, THE UNIVERSITY OF SUSSEX This scheme arose from ADP’s critically-acclaimed masterplan for the University of Sussex. The University has a very distinctive campus, reflected in ‘signature’ materials of copper, concrete, white paint, glass, flint and local brick. ADP used this same palette of materials at Swanborough House, reinterpreted to meet current needs whilst connecting the building closely with its context. For more information, please see page 15. © architects design partnership llp

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Project value £11m 260 premium rooms with en suite On target for BREEAM ‘Excellent’


EFFICIENT FORM LEFT: NIXON COURT, THE UNIVERSITY OF LEICESTER ADP was appointed to design and deliver a minimum of 260 en-suite student and postgraduate rooms at Nixon Court, Leicester. To meet the needs of the increased number of students on the site, the new accommodation has been grouped into flats containing five individual bedrooms linked to a kitchen and communal area. In total, 260 premium rooms with ensuite have been provided, with 21 studio apartments incorporating individual kitchettes, lounges, and study areas has been provided. Common room and laundry facilities are provided within the new block where the central administration/security building will be relocated, to a more visual location within the site. The landscaping scheme for the site is important as it will provide as many external spaces and relaxation areas as possible, whilst integrating and harmonising the surrounding buildings. To support the University’s commitment to creating sustainable and environmentally friendly buildings, the development is on course to achieve the BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating. A combined heat and power plant will supply both the new and some of the existing buildings, and the new buildings will utilise solar energy to produce heat for hot water.

Undertaking a student residential scheme represents an important capital project for a university, and the resulting building must work hard to deliver a return on such substantial investment. It must be efficient on many counts, and ADP utilises form and repetition effectively to deliver exemplary student residences. It is important to realise that ‘repetition’ doesn’t result in a predetermined approach, or bland design. Instead, it is a logical framework within which creative innovation and individuality are logically expressed, delivered both on time and on budget. We consider a site rigorously, and investigate the best and most efficient building forms for it. Our next step is to standardise, adapt and roll out that form across the scheme, creating a residential building that is responsive to its setting and its objectives. It is vital that the building creates a sense of intimacy and belonging, delivered on a human, non-institutional scale.

ABOVE: OPTIMUM STUDY ADP is utilising tools like AutoDesk Revit to examine core spatial requirements and layout configurations in student residences.

We deliver solutions, for example, that allow for pre-fabricated elements. This has two major benefits. The building becomes quicker to build, whilst pre-fabrication also allows the contractor to deliver buildings of consistently high-quality workmanship. © architects design partnership llp

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Project value £21.5m 525 rooms with en suite On target for BREEAM ‘Excellent’


LEFT: ST. MARK’S RESIDENCES, THE UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS ADP has achieved planning to begin work on the £21.5m St. Mark’s Residences, located a short distance away from the main campus in the centre of Leeds. Approximately one hectare in size, this steeply sloping site is currently occupied by a large number of student flats built in the 1970s. These will be demolished to make way for the new scheme, which is intended to provide a significant amount of accommodation for mature postgraduate students and foreign students. Accommodation for 525 students will be provided in four main blocks arranged around a series of landscaped internal courtyards. The apartments have been arranged to follow the natural topography of the site, and to carefully frame surrounding views and features: the listed church and green spaces to the north, and the almshouses to the west. The perimeter blocks follow and extend the existing street pattern, reinstating the urban language that existed before the current flats were built. They will create a subtle perimeter to the development, creating a line along which security can be achieved. © architects design partnership llp


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Project value £7.5m 92 rooms with en suite Integrated into a sensitive setting


LEFT: RUSKIN LANE, WORCESTER COLLEGE OXFORD Founded in 1714, Worcester College is one of the University’s hidden gems. Nevertheless, the College is one of the largest, with a collection of fine architecural contributions by notable architects. Respect and sensitivity are required when working on a site such as this, and ADP’s Ruskin Lane scheme successfully brings together old and new into a high quality undergraduate residence. ADP’s scheme for Ruskin Lane was carried out over two phases. Together, the phases saw the provision of 92 en suite student bedrooms, a warden’s flat and six accessible bedrooms. Ground floor accommodation also includes well-serviced accommodation for teaching, conference facilities and catering. This enhances the building’s flexibility, allowing the College to tap into the conference market during non-term time. The development benefitted from early consultation with English Heritage and local planning officers, as one side of the development faces onto the College grounds where a number of Grade I listed buildings are located, as well as a registered garden of special historic interest. This early dialogue meant that the design met the tight project deadlines, and avoided becoming a pastiche of existing stock - instead making a respectful, sensitive contribution to the site The study bedrooms are arranged in clusters around shared kitchen and dining facilities, with a maximum of six sharing. The College found this to be the best balance between efficiency and maintaining a cohesive social unit. The quality of finish in the rooms is responsive to the Oxford conference market, providing marketable, high quality accommodation for a variety of residents. Efficiency of design was also considered in the construction of the en suite bathrooms, where pre-fabricated ‘pods’ were installed to speed construction and quality of finish. Solar thermal water heating plays its part, too, with high levels of insulation. This reduces the carbon footprint of the building, and improves running costs. © architects design partnership llp


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© architects design partnership llp

Project value £10.5m 250 rooms with en suite Integrated with strategic masterplan


SOCIAL / PERSONAL SPACE LEFT: SWANBOROUGH HOUSE, THE UNIVERSITY OF SUSSEX Swanborough House contains 250 en suite bedrooms arranged as 41 self-contained ‘cluster’ flats, housing between four and seven students, with a communal lounge and kitchen in each. These clusters can provide a valuable social unit for new students, providing smaller and less daunting groupings. At the same time, personal space is respected with good quality study bedrooms with en suite. All bedrooms have an internet (ResNet) connection, a telephone and a TV point. There are also two adapted flats for students with special needs or disabilities. These flats have motorised doors, lowered wardrobe rails and kitchen cabinets, as well as en suite wetrooms. Each room has emergency pull-cords which connect directly to reception, and plug-in points for vibrating fire-alert pillows. There are also two electrical points in the bicycle shed for charging mobility vehicles. Swanborough House provides the University with a modern landmark building and is popular with the students. It achieves a good rental yield (guideline 2010 rent: £120.50 per week), giving the University of Sussex an excellent return on investment.

Not all education occurs in a formal learning environment. Important lessons and support can be gained in the sociable, informal spaces of a student residence building. The quality of a student’s educational experience can be enormously enhanced through shared experiences and friendships with fellow students. The design of any communal areas have a crucial role to play. Group kitchen and dining areas, while needing to be robust, must also be pleasant places to dwell in, rather than just basic functional facilities. This helps create a non-institutional feel, and assists feelings of ‘ownership’ of a given area. Circulation also provides an opportunity for interaction, too. For example, visual links between vertical and horizontal circulation create connections and opportunities for chance meetings, which can be supported with small built-in seats that facilitate an impromptu chat. Similarly, this can be achieved by by ensuring there is space in a lobby for two people to chat comfortably, while connections between facilities, such as common room/dining/ kitchen areas, enable fluid movement and integration.

Expanding our social horizons is an important part of our lives while at university, but an equally important factor in a student’s happiness is a space to call their own - somewhere to retreat to and study in; a place of sanctuary where the world can be temporarily shut out, and the space inside made to feel personal and individual. A key aspect of successful study bedrooms is allowing students to appropriate the space, bringing their personality and belongings into the room to make it their own. Pinboards and picture rails allow them to claim the space, without damaging the internal finishes. Each academic year, rooms will have a new occupant and therefore internal finishes must be robust. It will be necessary to undertake regular maintenance and decoration, but steps can be taken to reduce the need for this whilst still allowing for personalisation of the study bedroom. Differentiated areas within the bedroom create a distinct sleeping area and workspace, with a ‘service area’ of en-suite and storage by the door: this encourages separation of relaxation time and study time. © architects design partnership llp


© architects design partnership llp

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350 premium rooms with en suite Rated BREEAM ‘Excellent’ High-quality external spaces


SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS LEFT: WOODLAND COURT, THE UNIVERSITY OF BATH ADP’s Woodland Court student residences scheme provides the University of Bath with exceptional student accommodation. Arranged across five blocks, Woodland Court provides over 350 premium study bedrooms, complete with comfortable 4ft-wide beds, en-suite facilities, LCD TVs/monitors and the latest in VOIP technology. There are also 24 large, fully accessible study bedrooms for students with special requirements. Designed to the highest environmental standards, sustainability was an inherent consideration from the project outset and the residences boast a number of sustainable features. Energy systems were assessed in relation to lifecycle costs leading to the inclusion of solar water heating, high specification condensing boilers and heat recovery from extract air. Other measures include low-energy light and PIR triggered fittings, and optimum size windows for minimal solar gain. Located on the east of the Claverton Down campus, the development is adjacent to an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). To overcome any concerns of integrating the building form within the AONB boundary, the landscaping scheme provided opportunities for visual screening and increased biodiversity by replacing a gang-mowed grass area with native woodland species in the new courtyards. Woodland Court achieved the technically challenging BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating. The project also received a ‘highly commended’ award in the Sustainability category for the 2010 RICS Awards.

Sustainability is high on everybody’s agenda, and environmentallyfriendly buildings lend considerable kudos to university campuses. We believe, though, that its not just about good practice or popularity. Environmentally responsible buildings deliver many other benefits, too: energy efficiency, after all, doesn’t just help the planet – it also saves money.

Each project we undertake receives a BREEAM assessment – we think that’s just good practice. We work closely with bodies such as the BRE and HEFCE: it keeps our skills fresh, and we like to make ourselves useful. That’s why we have piloted the new BREEAM Higher Education scheme, and why our architects have participated in workshops with BRE to refine categories and standards.

Our approach is characterised by this belief in the practical and creative, not just political, value of sustainable design. We continually seek clever, measurable solutions to issues of sustainability that improve the lifecycle costing and performance of our buildings.

Positive change works from the inside out, so we make sure we practice what we preach. We incorporate sustainability in both our design output, and the way we run our studios. An ISO14001 certified company, we have a rolling programme for the assessment and measurable reduction of the direct impacts of running our studios and providing architectural services. © architects design partnership llp


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Project value £3.9m 31 rooms with en suite, and additional facilities including a 100-seat lecture theatre Sensitive urban site with listed buildings and a Scheduled Ancient Monument

© architects design partnership llp


CREATIVE REUSE LEFT: SHIP STREET CENTRE, JESUS COLLEGE OXFORD One of Oxford’s best known tourist attractions, The Oxford Story, has been transformed into the Ship Street Centre, a new £3.7m development for one of ADP’s oldest clients, Jesus College. The opportunity to redevelop the site was an unparallelled opportunity for the College to increase its student accommodation and conference facilities in a city centre location close to the College’s main quad. Our design approach for this project is based on a similar philosophy to ADP’s highly-successful Oxford Castle project. The scheme required the same balance between respect for the old, and innovative new elements to provide new student accommodation and conference facilities. The project is accessed through a listed building and extensive alteration and extension to an original warehouse was required to make this viable. The design also takes a responsible approach to sustainability, incorporating a low energy input and use. Part of the old city walls, including one of it’s bastions, has been carefully preserved. This is a Scheduled Ancient Monument, and the public are allowed to gain access to it. Therefore, careful design was required to facilitate viewing and provide clear separation of public and private areas. New elements are contemporary and minimalist, clearly distinguishable from the Ancient Monument and the warehouse. In this way, three ‘layers’ of history are clearly legible: the ancient wall; the later warehouse, and the new alterations and additions.

It’s often easy to overlook the assets you’ve already got when times are good. However, when funding streams become more scarce, older building stock is a valuable, often overlooked, asset. At ADP, whatever the state of the economy, we believe refurbishment has many advantages. In fact, in many instances, it can actually emerge as the preferred option. As well as being inherently more sustainable, refurbishment is cost and time effective. In logistical terms, refurbishment projects can often be more easily phased to ensure that works are less disruptive. Furthermore, creative and innovative refurbishment can increase the value of existing building stock, and can preserve historic buildings whilst keeping them in active use.

remodelling of a faculty building, or the reuse of a redundant, outmoded facility. Whatever the form of refurbishment, it requires careful analysis of current uses and needs, and the ability to creatively reinterpret existing spaces to meet those needs. At ADP, we have worked with many universities to refresh and update existing facilities, and we know how successful and important they can be for our clients in realising the full potential of their estate. Our experience covers the big picture, developing critically-acclaimed masterplans that review entire estates – ensuring that future development is staged and considered, seeking new opportunities to utilise existing stock. We also work on the fine detail: transforming individual buildings and facilities with clever ideas, skillfully and creatively applied.

Refurbishment itself is a catch-all term. It can range in complexity from a fresh new interior for a tired seminar room, to the extensive © architects design partnership llp








Student Residences  

A brief overview of ADP's experience in, and approach to, designing student residential schemes.

Student Residences  

A brief overview of ADP's experience in, and approach to, designing student residential schemes.