Atlantic College Llantwit Major, Wales 2004–

The College prospectus describes how it is “committed to making education a force to unite people, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future”. In 2004, the College held an RIBA competition to design four new student houses. Our scheme was one of a shortlist of six. Our design pairs the houses. Their organisational-spatial structure is designed to encourage communality

Image 1

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    The College, centred on the 12th Century St Donat's castle, stands in open countryside in the Vale of Glamorgan on the Bristol Channel. This sketch illustrates one of the pairs of houses set within mature woodland
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    The scheme provides a social structure for this intentional community. The site layout plan shows 2 pairs of houses. 4 students share a bedroom. Each house accommodates 40 students, each pair 80 and the two pairs 160
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    Each house is arranged over two storeys, sleeping above living. The larger first floor provides shelter to both internal living spaces and external terraces below. The ground floor is an extension of the natural topography
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    The first floor verandah is partially enclosed with metal screens perforated with a leaf motif. These cast dappled light both inside and out. The "deep" façade reduces the impact of weathering on this very exposed site
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    The dayroom, the social focus of the house, is a grand double height space beneath a clearing in the 'canopy' of the first floor above
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    The bedrooms are arranged in a ring around the double height volume of the dayroom
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    Skylights above the first floor galleried circulation suggest a roof of dappled light


  • Client: Atlantic College
  • Services Engineer: Max Fordham
  • Structural Engineer: Jane Wernick Associates
  • : Competition, Final Six


  • Global Reach. The Atlantic College Competition (Touchstone, April 2005), p.12
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