A crescent shaped development of student residences, designed by MJP Architects, makes a distinctive addition to Manor Park Campus at the University of Surrey. Meeting the University’s need for high quality accommodation, the residences house over 950 students in a series of mid-rise buildings set around interlinking courtyards. VELFAC double glazing is installed across the development, helping deliver durable, cost-effective and thermally efficient student rooms in buildings which are also architecturally striking.

Student residences Manor park campus

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Transition from rural to urban

Manor Park Campus is part of the University’s masterplan to create a landscape which transitions from rural to urban. The buildings present a series of gables to the road, rather like a series of converted barns which sit comfortably in the semi-rural landscape, with VELFAC composite windows set into deep reveals with red brick facades and pitched slate roofs. Punch hole windows bring light and ventilation into every room, with multiple window combinations a feature of shared kitchens and communal spaces. Full height glazed units are also combined to create stylish glazed entrances at the corner of every courtyard.


Meeting style, performance and cost targets

For MJP Architects, specification at Manor Park focused on strong, durable and attractive materials which could weather well while delivering low maintenance performance, and which could support an energy efficient approach designed to maximise passive environmental control. Glazing therefore had to meet demanding style, performance and cost targets, says Senior Architect Mathew Crawford: ‘Architecturally, our approach was to be neat and unfussy and so we found that the narrow sightlines of the VELFAC frame, and the single sightline for opening lights, helped us achieve this aesthetic.’ 

Different frame finishes inside and out 

Another advantage of the VELFAC system, notes Mathew, is the option to choose different frame finishes inside and out: ‘To meet the budget we specified a dark grey polyester-powder coated finish for the external, low maintenance aluminium frame, and we chose a clear lacquer finish for the internal wood. This gave a more domestic feel, and allowed us to match the frame to the internal door, floor and furniture finishes.’ This combination of style and performance makes VELFAC ideal for student accommodation, he adds: ‘The design offers external durability where it is most needed, while the inner frame provides a domestic finish, and all within an affordable price bracket.’   


The Manor Park residences welcomed their first students in autumn 2019 and are now fully occupied.  



Sector: Education / student accommodation

Architect: MJP Architects

Client: University of Surrey

Photos: Peter Durant / MJP Architects

Specified for:

  • Slim frames 
  • Uniform sightlines 
  • Composite frame 
  • Design versatility 
  • Cost effective, durable performance