AFL Architects | Parkside
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The concept for two mixed use towers at a prominent gateway location in Coventry. Situated within the recently established university quarter, the towers contain 300 build to rent residential units and 500 student bedrooms as cluster flats and studios.

The towers, at 28 and 22 stories respectively, sit above a split-level podium containing residential and student support facilities and two convenience retail units.

A striking new development that recognises Coventry’s elevated reputation in the West Midlands

Coventry will be City of Culture for 2021 and has enjoyed increased attention with new employment and education opportunities. In recent years Coventry has also seen an intensification and densification around the mainline station, which feeds London Euston and the West Coast line.

The scale of the development responds to its university location and the surrounding regeneration area. When viewed together with adjacent developments, Parkside provides a significant future customer base, local services and employment opportunities.

Allocation has been carefully planned to ensure that the site benefits from its central location and excellent transport links, providing privacy and security for residents and importantly a mix and specification that meets students current and future demands. Purpose‐built student accommodation will also help release the traditional student housing stock, allowing these residential properties to make a better contribution to housing needs.

Parkside Coventry AFL Architects 3

Situated in the historic centre and fully respectful of the past, current and future contexts

A key consideration of the development is to ensure the preservation of the protected viewing corridors from key locations around the city centre. The three spires of Coventry’s skyline lightly cross the southern edge of the site. The development is designed to not encroach on this protected viewing cone and is reflective of planning approvals for towers of a similar height in the vicinity.

A portion of the city’s historic city walls has been fully preserved and revealed within the development, with the new blocks carefully located to ensure that the archaeological remains are safeguarded and given opportunity for interpretation. The intention was for an exhibition use and events programme around the exposed wall would occur for the City of Culture celebration and prior to the construction work commencing.

A mix of uses that connect, encourage, and enhance community

The site is bounded on the north side by a protective strip that encloses private central courtyard/garden areas, which can be utilised for amenity and recreation. These spaces act as links between the various activity zones within the development.

The ground floor uses facing onto these spaces are communal leisure and co-working areas which can benefit from these secure external amenities. The clearly defined double fronted entrance area acts as a central meeting point and leads into the café/shops/common room areas, providing an active street frontage to key elevations.

The lower podium floors of the development, containing the largely post graduate studio rooms, emphasise the horizontal proportions set up by the surrounding developments and ring road flyover. This is balanced by the vertical interest provided by the ‘finger blocks’ above, containing the student room clusters, articulated to receive the best natural light conditions while responding to the surrounding developments, views and axes.