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CONSTABLE TERRACE

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The Constable Terrace is a wall of student residences at the University of East Anglia. Built to the designs of Rick Mather Architects in 1994, it is situated to the north of the Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts. The eastern end is adjacent to Lasdun's Teaching Wall and Mather (consultant archiect to the university) has added new pedestrian routes and a spine road to the original Lasdun masterplan. The core of the brief was the demand for extreme energy efficiency so that it would be cheap enough for students to rent during term time while attracting an upmarket clientele looking for overnight or conference acccommodation during vacation time. Until now the most popular student accommodation on campus was some terraced houses built in 1979, each one catering for ten people. This size seemed to provide the right social balance so helping inform Mather's scheme. A total of 400 rooms are arranged in ten-bedroom three-storey sections, each with their own main entrance, shared living room and kitchen. They are sealed inside a sheer white external skin and topped by a floating canopy roof. At pavement level there is an intimate arrangement of concrete seating on a terrace in front of each glazed entrance/common room. With the skin sealed tightly as possible, a mechanical system ventilates the interior - air is drawn in uder the roof canopy and filters into each room at low level. The heat-recovery system captures about 70 per cent of the latent heat from the extracted air and this is used to warm the fresh incoming air. Windows are fitted with low-emissivity glass and are the minimum size permitted under Building regulations.

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