Prinshof medical campus student residences for the University of Pretoria. The University of Pretoria was granted funding for the upgrading of their medical school campus, by the National Skills Fund. One of the requirements included a 300 bed student residence. The selection of architects was done by a design and project specific experience elimination process and Neo Dimensions architects were selected as the project architects.
The residence is built on the hill above the Pretoria Academic Hospital. Views to both the north (Moot area) and the south (Pretoria city CBD) of the site provide a unique setting and ambience for the students to live and study. The design includes, five residential blocks, a communal facility and a 200m² house parent’s residence. The buildings were placed to create landscaped courtyards where students could gather and interact, resulting in social cohesion in both the internal and external spaces. The communal facility acts as the central foyer space into the residences. IT Labs, a study area, kiosk and communal hall are some of the functions accommodated within. Each apartment, in the residential blocks, consist of eight bedrooms, seven north facing and one en-suite south facing bedroom, a central ablution facility and a shared kitchen, dining- and common area.
The Z-shaped feature element on the south facades is both a staircase enclosure as well as creating a covered approach for the entrances. This element acts as the main entrance focus point. Energy efficient systems which were included into the design, apart from north orientation, natural lighting and ventilation as well as a solar water heating system, water saving sanitary ware and back-up water storage. The roofs were specifically designed to provide the ideal pitch for the solar panels. Careful coordination resulted in the water storage vessels being stored inside the roof voids, opening up the reduced landscape areas due to the limited size of the site. The project was completed within budget on time December, for the students to move in on 2 January 2015.