Alma Court Canterbury

Client. CSQ
Location. Canterbury
Value & Size. £18 million / 65,000 sqft / 194 Dwellings
Service. Concept Architects
Status. Completed

Alma Court Canterbury

Client. CSQ
Location. Canterbury
Value & Size. £18 million / 65,000 sqft / 194 Dwellings
Service. Concept Architects
Status. Completed

This 5plus designed PBSA scheme, has been completed on a sensitive site in a Conservation Area, on the border of Unesco World Heritage Site in Canterbury, Kent. The scheme for which we achieved Planning Consent comprises 194 student dwellings with amenity spaces both internally and externally.

The layout is derived from a traditional urban form, creating a collegiate ‘quadrangle’ typology formed by a simple external perimeter defining an internal semi-private courtyard. The 2 ‘L shaped’ blocks enclosing the courtyard relate to two distinct typologies from the immediate and wider context of the site. The design response blends the traditional two storey terraced houses which surround the site, with the format of larger scale buildings needed to provide a sustainable solution. The Military Road frontage lightly references the tracery and vertical proportions of the medieval city core, including Canterbury Cathedral which can be seen from the site. The scheme steps up from 2 storeys to 5 storeys, ensuring that the main mass of the building is away from any sensitive residential boundaries while optimising the potential of the site for intensification.

The site layout represents a traditional urban form, creating a collegiate ‘quadrangle’ typology formed by a simple external perimeter defining an internal semi-private courtyard. The 2 ‘L shaped’ blocks enclosing the courtyard relate to two distinct typologies from the immediate and wider context of the site.

  • 2 storey terraced housing with pitched roofs which surround the site
  • Larger scale buildings such as Canterbury Cathedral which can be seen from the site.

The terrace houses are simple yet elegant, using a mixture of traditional proportions with modern detailing. Subtle brick detailing and visual devices such as recessed drainpipes create vertical banding which help break up the massing of the elevation. The architectural language of the second typology draws inspiration and guidelines from larger scale buildings in the area, including Canterbury Cathedral. The scale steps up from 2 storeys to 5 storeys, ensuring that the main mass of the building is away from any sensitive residential boundaries.

The landscaping creates a simple yet well considered internal courtyard for the students, taking inspiration from traditional university cloisters.

The scheme completed in 2020.

Project Team
Photography. Michael Blann
Floor Plan

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