prospects college, southend-on-sea
Prospects College comprises a cluster of three residential buildings that accommodate 91 apartments, the central pavilion of the group forming a new focal point to the long view south on Prittlewell Chase towards Southend town centre.
The new buildings, on a brownfield, former industrial site, are set against the backdrop of Southerd that rises to the south of the site and arranged to respect long views to St Mary’s church. Buildings vary in height from 2 - 3 storeys in response to the existing buildings in the streetscape, with the central, focal pavilion rising to 5 storeys. Together they establish a new street elevation, set beyond of a new zone of landscape and avenue tree planting to supplement the existing verge, that completes the 120m gap in the Fairfax Drive street frontage.
A large portion of the car parking provision is placed within two areas of undercroft car parking, with courtyard gardens above taking advantage of the higher level of the adjoining land.
The contemporary architectural language uses contrasting facing brickwork where a light brick is set against darker masonry laid in textured panels. The central pavilion takes the form of a cube with a deep frame surrounding the main street elevation that appears to float above a darker brick plinth. The frame is then repeated to form entrances to the two flanking buildings and to frame the opposite corners. The result is a rhythm of nine alternating light and dark brick components that echo the bay frontages of the adjoining residential terrace and that articulate the variations in building height along the street frontage rising to the focal, central pavilion.