Insula is a new urban living concept developed by the practice, with the name derived from the Roman definition – an apartment building that housed most of the urban citizen population of Roman cities. Typically they were arranged around courtyards, with shops and businesses at ground floor and multi-level living above.
In essence our proposal is centred on ‘community’ living, where at ground floor we envisage a loose arrangement of communal and shared offerings that might include co-working accommodation / meeting rooms, convenience retail and a rated cinema / performance space.
Above this a wide variety of living spaces are incorporated, from small one bed studios for individuals, to three bed apartments for families. They are arranged around the perimeter of the footprint, with communal facilities grouped centrally, with a full height atrium introducing natural light into the depth of the floorplate.
Initially brought forward for an architectural design competition in Exeter, there is sufficient flexibility in the approach where it could be adapted to suit a variety of differing scales of development and locations, with the external treatment adjusted to suit the particular context.