The landscaped village of timber modular-housing pods, with communal amenities and a central social and learning hub, is based within the Dyson Malmesbury Campus in Wiltshire. As well as establishing a new typology in student accommodation, the project breaks ground in the design, masterplanning and precision engineering of truly modular prefabricated building technologies for rapid construction.
The village is designed to accommodate up to 50 Dyson Institute of Engineering and Technology students plus visiting Dyson staff. The high-quality living pods are fabricated from cross-laminate timber (CLT) in a factory for rapid on-site assembly. The pods are arranged in units, two to three-stories high, to create a welcoming social space and an appealing addition to the campus alongside the larger industrial buildings.
The pods are arranged in a variety of cluster configurations, within a crescent-shaped site, following the curve of a surrounding landscaped embankment. Each cluster consists of up to six units, including a shared kitchen and laundry space at mid entry level, and an entry area with reception and storage. To create the feel of a student village, each pod has its own front door, with lower pods opening onto landscaped garden, and higher ones accessed by paths on curved earth ramps and stairs to the upper level.
The dynamic variety of configurations lends an informal, residential character to the village. Green spaces and pathways determine user movement through the village and mediate connections between the residential accommodation and the communal clubhouse, named the Roundhouse, at the centre.
The Roundhouse, designed as a social space for students, is conceived as a freestanding, transparent and outward-facing circular pavilion. The lightweight steel structure is formed of two stacked cylinders, surmounted by an oversailing brise soleil roof. Designed to mediate between the accommodation clusters and the wider Dyson campus, it is divided into the southern side - transparent and social, and the northern side, which is metal-clad and functional. Its facilities include a café, bar, lecture hall and study space.
Yasmin Al-Ani Spence, Director of WilkinsonEyre, said ‘We are delighted to have worked with Dyson to develop this new typology for high-quality student accommodation creating an innovative community where students can learn, work and live on site.’