Glyndwr University, Wrexham : winner announced
Softroom Architects have been chosen as the architects for the design of new student residences for Glyndwr University, following a two stage RIBA open competition.
Four practices were invited to make presentations to a jury panel following an open anonymous assessment of over 70 entries from all over the world. Softroom fought off strong competition from Hamiltons Architects Ltd ; 1AX Architetti Associati from Italy and A Studio Ltd.
Launched in September this year, the competition set the challenge of designing new student residences to accommodate 500 students as part of a broader strategy to accommodate undergraduates and postgraduates students on the Wrexham campus, and increase the provision for student services. The competition brief specified the University's intention to procure the internal accommodation based on modular accommodation units.
Softroom's scheme captured the judges' attention from the outset, presenting a striking image for the University. New buildings splay out from a curving promenade which links them into the heart of the campus. Dramatic mirrored overhangs and slender steel columns create a pattern of covered and open spaces along the route, forming a 21st century interpretation of the traditional university quad.
Chris Bagot of Softroom said : "We recognise that the new residences have a clear function for Glyndwr University as a symbol of change and growth. We saw an opportunity to engage with and clarify the existing masterplan to create a new centre of student life on the campus".
Head of Estates at Glyndwr University, Peter Rhodes said "The Jury Panel were unanimous in selecting Softroom Architects as the winner and felt that their scheme offered the best relationship between the existing built environment and realisation of the Estates Masterplan.
"The high quality and diversity of the design concepts submitted from all the competing practices clearly showed enthusiasm and commitment in their exploration of the study bedrooms and endeavours in creating flexible space for socialisation."
Softroom will now work closely with the University to develop and refine their competition concept. The final decisions regarding phasing and the overall content of the submission and subsequent build will be subject to internal and external discussions.