Hatfield Square is a student housing development providing 2200 beds to students in the Hatfield area of Pretoria. The building, designed by Paragon Architects, is owned by Redefine and Respublica, and managed by Respublica Student living. The 51 000sqm development (excluding basements) has reinvigorated the former Hatfield Square social hub, a local watering hole for students in Pretoria, by providing 3500sqm of retail, with a mix of restaurants and line shop tenants on the ground floor square facing Burnett Street.
The redevelopment of the student residence was designed around the concept of a village with consideration given to all aspects of student life in order to create a mixed-use development where students can live, study and play in a safe, accessible environment.
Various sun studies were undertaken to optimise building heights to ensure that all rooms have maximum access to air and light. The result is a precinct of four interlinking buildings, or ‘neighbourhoods’, arranged around a series of intimate courtyard spaces where students can enjoy the smaller neighbourhoods within their blocks. Each building is defined by its ‘theme’ colour which is visible internally and externally.
“It’s an exciting development which stands out in its surroundings, and once complete, Block D, facing Prospect Street will be the highest building in the area,” notes Antoinette Kloppers, Senior Project Architectural technologist at Paragon Architects. “The design not only ensures that each unit has maximum access to views and light, but also has the added benefit of promoting individual communities with their own amenities and shared spaces, within the larger scheme.”
Five modular unit types – ranging from single and double sharing, single en suite with own kitchenette, double sharing en suite and apartment style unit with four beds and own ablutions and kitchenette – create a variety of rental options, with common study rooms and lounge/kitchen areas on each floor. Units are serviced daily and resident students have access to free Wi-Fi and 24 hour security, while facilities include a rooftop gym (which overlooks the Retail Square), computer centre, large study centres, recreational rooms, laundry facilities, swimming pool, landscaped gardens and braai areas. In total, there are 85 common facilities spread out over the four buildings and seven courtyards within the development, six of which are exclusive to resident student use
The precinct benefits from different scales of public, semi-public and private spaces. Common areas are defined on the façade with sculptural forms and colours which link back to the neighbourhood theme, while rooms are defined on the façade by an array of window patterns that reflect the diversity of accommodation types. “The Burnett Street side of the development acknowledges the history of Hatfield Square by recreating an active lifestyle courtyard, where students and the public can socialise and enjoy a variety of retail offerings and restaurants,” says Kloppers.
Energy efficiency, as with all Paragon’s buildings, was a cornerstone of the Hatfield Square project. The building was constructed with AAC (Aerated Autoclaved Concrete) blocks, which contributed to speed and ease of construction. The blocks also have great thermal and fire insulation properties. Terraco South Africa assisted with coating advice onto the AAC block. Terraco, a leading producer of environmentally friendly finishing materials for the construction industry since 1980, the company’s founding in 1980, installed their EIFS system onto the block work, and also created the relief onto the building by using EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) with various textured finishes of the Terraco coating in three shades of grey to create an interesting relief pattern on the façade.
“The building has been designed to have natural ventilation, water storage tanks and heat farms to minimise the energy consumption of the development,” explains Kloppers. “The residence is also fully equipped with water storage tanks and electricity supply services in the events of shortages.”
The use of sustainable products such as AAC blocks and the use of natural ventilation works well in the climate in which the project is located, while the development responded to the culture of the area by reinstating student living with collaborative spaces, socialising, and pedestrianizing the precinct due to the close proximity to the Gautrain and University.
Paragon Architects, established in October 1997, is an internationally-active African design business, based in Johannesburg, South Africa. It is the originator of the Paragon Group of design businesses, delivering commercial architecture, master planning, interior design and space planning to visionary clients in all property sectors. As a Group they are committed to Africa, and believe in the future of its cities. Each project is unique and is not driven by style, but by lifestyle and a response to user needs. Elegant and efficient planning form the core of our designs. They understand the needs of their clients, and know how to generate ever new architectural forms in a competitive property market.
A leader in the formulation, design and production of environmentally friendly finishing materials, Terraco prides itself on providing innovative, green solutions to the construction industry. Since its founding in 1980, Terraco uses carefully selected raw materials and production techniques, resulting in products that promote health, ensure comfort, improve energy efficiency and provides a sophisticated finish. Available in over 75 countries, via 32 companies & 18 factories. Terraco has a production capacity over 650 000 tons, with more than 250 million square metres of product applied annually. Terraco’s mission is to be the leading producer of environmentally friendly ﬁnishing materials for the construction industry. Our core values are Innovation, Excellence and Life.
LOCATION: Pretoria, South Africa
ARCHITECTS: Paragon Architects
PROJECT TEAM: Estelle Meiring, Anthony Orelowitz, Mila Ravid, Antoinette Kloppers, Ilona Botes, Ricardo Andrade, Tom Hill, Miguel Gandra, Mouaz Sabha, Leanie van Brummen
CLIENT: Redefine and Respublica
PHOTOGRAPHS: Tristan McClaren/Paragon Architects