Out of the four student residences, Westpark is the only one which uses timber cladding. The vertical open cladding system is made of European oak, and is most prominent on the cantilever four-storey entrance tower, but it has also been used on other parts of the façade where the communal flat lounges are located.
Special timber-related features
The design of the building evolved as a response to the existing mature landscaping and the requirement to create a memorable entrance statement that would increase the complex’s visibility. This led to the scheme’s main architectural statement – a four-storey oak clad tower which sits within a band of trees. Being constructed of untreated hardwood, this will gradually weather to take on the soft patina of the existing trees.
Background to building
The Westpark building is located in a conservation area in the western suburbs of Dundee, and is one of four student residence sites which were completed in 2007.
Part of a project to provide new student accommodation for the University of Dundee, the project involved the construction of 140 study bedrooms and refurbishment of an adjacent conference centre.
The area is characterised by substantial existing Victorian villas and mature planting. The site contained a listed villa which forms the heart of a University-owned conference centre, along with two wings of student housing, the older of which was demolished prior to the construction of the new development.
The upgraded conference facilities provide additional meeting spaces, support accommodation and a new reception area to reflect increased use of the facility.