Duncan House is a mixed use development consisting of a 31 storey building with a podium base, it provides 511 Student Bedrooms and 44 Residential Apartments alongside 688 Sq.m. of Artist’s Studios and 3150 Sq.m. of Academic Space. This diverse range creates a truly mixed use development, whilst the arrangement of these uses avoids any overlooking or privacy issues.
The massing of the proposal is best described as a collage of strategies leading to an integrated response to the urban design analysis. A street edge defining, human-scaled podium responds to the buildings to the south east of High Street, and the Builder’s Arms city block. Its orthogonal arrangement allows a significant piece of public realm to be formed at the junction of High Street with Lett Road.
A central private courtyard punctuates the podium allowing natural light and ventilation to the resultant perimeter building, and in turn affords a calm respite at the heart of the development away from the intensity of its surroundings. The podium rises incidentally to 9 storeys adjacent to the residences to the south of Ward Road, generating an architectural dialogue with its neighbour either side of the street. Private roof gardens / amenity spaces for students and residents are provided at levels 05 and 06 respectively.
A tower sits on the east corner of the podium, land marking the third apex of the triangular infrastructure referred to in the analysis, and a gateway to the Queen Elizabeth Park. Its cruciform configuration fragments the architectural form, with the four wings spiralling upwards towards the pinnacle. The composition of the tower component seeks to engage in a relationship with its context, both near and far, whilst affording an elegant silhouette against the skyline.