Plus Architecture has designed a new building for student accommodation on the campus grounds of Moore Theological College in Newtown, Sydney, focusing on encouraging interaction. Through scale, morphology and materiality, the John Chapman House mediates between the university facilities and surrounding context defined by busy roads, heritage sites and tall buildings while providing students with a network of meeting spaces fostering collaboration and conviviality.
In order to provide a new campus living experience, the redevelopment requires the demolition of two existing 1950s structures; however, it establishes a dialogue with the existing architecture. “An important part of our process was to assess which existing elements on site were able to contribute most to the outcome,” says Rido Pin, Design Director at Plus Architecture. The design is defined by two structures, six-storey and four-storey high, respectively, joined by a glass volume housing community spaces.
The ground floor offers a permeable connection with the garden, while the open staircases connecting the community rooms become another opportunity for social interaction. Communal amenities include a rooftop pavilion, a gym, a cinema, a kitchen and a barbeque area. The design comprises 103 rooms, as well as 1and 4-bedroom apartments to accommodate students and faculty, singles and families.
The facades alternate materiality, with the sandstone cladding establishing a dialogue with the heritage buildings, while the silver-coloured screens offer the redevelopment a contemporary image. The proposal is the winning design of a 2019 competition organized by Moore College. Construction is set to begin in 2022, with a completion date expected in 2023.