London designer Ab Rogers believes this student housing project he recently completed in London could set a blueprint for compact modern living in the city (+ slideshow).
Scape is a housing block for 600 students in London's East End and contains study bedrooms that are no more than 12.5 square metres in area. Inspired by sleeping quarters in train carriages, the rooms feature space-saving measures such as cupboards that double up as desks and seating in the windows.
Ab Rogers says his vision was to "create a forward-thinking design language for small spaces that would appeal to a young target audience and be able to be reapplied in other environments".
Corian surfaces give each room a clean white aesthetic, plus each one includes brightly coloured furnishings in one of six vivid shades.
"For the Scape project, we started with the rooms, which are highly engineered pieces of industrial design given a domestic veneer," said Rogers. "Each is an individual pod, made off site."
Block colours also aid orientation through the building, as a bright red staircase spirals up from the reception to floors that are each labelled with a different colour.
"The common parts needed to support a complicated social infrastructure for socialising, study and care for hundreds of young people," added Rogers. "Dynamic integral wayfinding systems and vibrant colour codings knit the buildings’ internal parts together, while the individual rooms offer complete calm for every occupant."
The accommodation is accompanied by two restaurants; a cafe named The Kitchen and a Pan-Asian restaurant entitled Box Noodle. Students can either dine inside, or order takeaway to eat in their rooms.
The Kitchen (above and below) comprises a busy European-style cafe with bright green chairs and suspended yellow lighting.
Box Noodle (below) features a more minimal interior furnished with long tables, wooden stools and narrow red pendant lights.
Scape welcomed its first occupants in September 2012.
Another student accommodation concept was recently revealed by MEK Architects, whose MySpace housing in Norway was modelled on the concept of a social network. See more stories about student housing.
Photography is by John Short.
Here's a project description from Ab Rogers Studio.
A rethink of student accommodation by Ab Rogers Design
In September 2012, SCAPE, an innovative rethink of student accommodation, will welcome its first occupants. Two minutes walk from Mile End tube station in East London, its 600 rooms might be small, at 12.5m2, but have been perfectly conceived by Ab Rogers Design. Created for serious study and student socialising, cupboards turn into desks and the bed becomes a bar. Each room has its own compact bathroom and neat fitted kitchen, as well as a window seat that makes the most of all the available light.
Ab Rogers Design was inspired by the railroad couchette, and looked to other examples where space is limited and function is key, such as submarines, yachts and caravans, to come up with a solution that has maximized efficiency and minimized any loss of usable floor or wall area. The result is rooms that are innovative, livable and attractive. Materials include Corian, foil wrapped furniture and woven textiles, and each room has a simple colour scheme, matching white with lemon yellow, turquoise, vermillion, violet, electric blue or spring green.
For the communal areas and the bar, deli and restaurant, ARD has looked to multi-use public places such as museums and galleries and introduced a system of partitions on tracks and grids that allow spaces to be reconfigured to best suit the changing needs of the building. Colourful and flooded with light, it’s hoped that these areas will be at the heart of the community.
There are two affordable, high quality restaurants on site, The Kitchen, which is an all-day deli café, and Box Noodle, which offers a fresh take on Asian-fusion cooking. A state of the art fitness centre will be opening soon, below the main accommodation.
Design: Ab Rogers Design
Architect: Ernesto Bartolini, DA Studios
GRAPHIC DESIGN: Praline Design
CLIENT: Grosvenor House Group PLC
CONTRACTOR: HG Construction