Wienerberger transforms shed space into student social square

Wienerberger transforms shed space into student social square

Thanks to a Master plan by architectural practice Henley Halebrown, along with Wienerberger’s use of Slim Pave clay pavers, an old storage space at the University of Roehampton has been transformed into a generous open space.

Tucked away and rarely ventured on by students, ‘The Yard’ of the University featured nothing but old storage buildings and sheds. However, the transformed space now connects 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.

The Herne Dark Brindled paver, which is part of Wienerberger’s Slim Pave range, was chosen for the project due to its many unique properties. 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 by 50 by 70mm. 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.

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