References

Chamberlain Halls of Residence, Birmingham, UK

Glancy Nicholls Architects Ltd

Situated within the Edgbaston conservation area, Chamberlain Halls of Residence are an important addition to the University of Birmingham’s student accommodation site at the Vale Village. The Vale landscape is Grade II listed in the Register of Parks and Gardens of Historic Interest.

This campus for residents is unique in that it is a microcosm of rural countryside in the centre of Birmingham. Chamberlain Hall enables the client to extend their brand even more; designed to emulate a balance of being iconic and reflective of the existing landscape.

Situated on an eyecatcher plot on the “brow” of the Vale campus, Chamberlain Hall provides a gateway to the city and the University campus, and can be seen from all sides of the park. The building demonstrates soft interiors to counter-balance any perceptions of an overwhelming concrete structure. The external materials such as the brickwork and copper cladding flow internally into the circulation spaces providing a connection with the outside.

The copper cladding that is used on the exterior of the high-rise building personifies this balance. The pre-patented finish of the Nordic brown copper cladding offered a neutral colour which compliments the colour of the landscape and the redbrick colours of the prestigious university campus, whilst catching the light in order to shine as beacon at the height of the Vale. The choice of copper was important as we wanted a material which responds and changes with the landscape over time.

Completed in September 2015, the building is made up of 726 bedrooms, split into 5 and 6 ensuite bedroomed clusters and 1 bedroom studios. The rooms were designed to maximise the views, with perspectives of both the University’s iconic clock tower and Birmingham City Centre. The new structure successfully combines the University’s modern image with striking architecture.

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Building

Owner: 
University of Birmingham
Completion date: 
2015
Country: 
United Kingdom
City: 
Birmingham

Categories

Applications: 
Facades
Type of building: 
Educational
Copper used: 
Pre-oxidised
Estate: 
New

Architect

Name, office: 
Glancy Nicholls Architects Ltd

Copper contractors

Title: 
Speedclad

Awards

Season: 
2017

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Nick Hay

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