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Article Date: 30th April 2018

Wienerberger Transforms Gloomy Shed Space into Student Social Square at Roehampton University

Roehampton University - Clay Pavers - The Yard - Red Paver

Wienerberger - Roehampton University

Located on one of London’s most beautiful campuses the University of Roehampton is situated across three major sites in Roehampton, southwest London. Tucked away and rarely ventured on by students, ‘The Yard’ of the University featured nothing but old storage buildings and sheds. However, thanks to a Master plan by Architectural Practice Henley Halebrown Rorrison, along with Wienerberger’s use of Slim Pave clay pavers, The Yard has been transformed into a generous open space, connecting the historic and contemporary sections of the University, whilst also creating an area for students to sit, study and socialise.

The project, which took a total of nine months to complete, needed to effectively unify the old with the new, whilst complying with the restrictive requirements of monument conservation and creating a shared space on campus. In order to successfully achieve this, the architects decided to use brick in the form of clay pavers as it offered the versatility needed for the task. Structural openings were made to open up views from the chapel and a café to The Yard, whilst the University’s historic boundary wall had to be reduced in height in order to make it structurally sound. Additional openings with flat arches were also introduced, linking the historic Froebel garden to the courts, whilst copings were made of cast and etched reconstituted stone and benches were built into niches, encouraging university students to take advantage of the newly created space.

Wienerberger - Roehampton UniversityThe Herne Dark Brindled paver, which is part of Wienerberger’s Slim Pave range, was chosen for the project due to its many unique properties. Thanks to its non-standardised dimensions and varied range of surface finishes, the clay paver offers a greater scope for expressions than other products. However, one of the most unusual properties of the clay paver is the sleek design and colour; this waterstruck clay paver, with a correspondingly rough surface quality, is thinner than standard formats, measuring at 210 x 50 x 70mm.

What’s more, the red paver was laid in a variety of bonds, including one-third stretcher and herringbone pattern.

Following this, the depth of jointing also varies throughout the project. For the structural walls it is recessed, for the bench backrests it is flush, whilst the paving joints are tightly sanded or deliberately laid in a matrix of fine-grained gravel to promote the growth of vegetation. Through the use of 12mm bedding joints, five courses of new brickwork using the paver correspond exactly with four courses of standard bricks of the existing walls, giving rise to a playful dialogue of scale.

Wienerberger - Roehampton UniversityJo Roberts, Landscape Category Product Manager at Wienerberger, commented:

“It was important that we kept the historic character of the area, whilst also adhering to its modern, contemporary features. The unique properties of our Herne Dark Brindled paver were not only able to achieve this, but also created an innovative shared area, which was awarded Best Outdoor Space category by the Brick Development Association (BDA), and we hope that it will be valued and enjoyed for many years to come.”

Today, The Yard sits proudly at the heart of the University, with the unmistakable identity of the pavers creating a new intersection on campus. Fusing together the contemporary and historic aspects of Roehampton, whilst also creating an aesthetically pleasing space for students, The Yard is now transformed into a creative area that brings people and work together.

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