High Five is the fifth student housing project of the SSH housing corporation on the Utrecht University Campus. The project has a characteristic golden silhouette with a U-shaped plinth and two 70m high towers, housing 921 student apartments. The color celebrates the academic forming period in a student’s life in architecture. With its U-shape High Five bridges the Campus’ edge with its surrounding landscape. The inviting open shape embraces the green in and an ample opening allows a view out. The 6m high Ground Floor houses all public facilities and functions for the residents.
The Golden facade reveals the scale of individual apartments, opposed to the glazed plinth facade, tying all the program together. This glazed plinth facade with distinct protruding vertical piers wraps the public functions and creates a firm landing on the landscape. The upper gold colored housing facade is made in a diamond shaped composite cladding. As a net it stretches across the different room sizes and daylight conditions in a subtle way it shows the differences in the apartment sizes.
The project is designed around the student’s life. Its build-up is derived from the premise that all students can contact each other and the surrounding landscape. The entrance of the student housing complex is a grand opening, inviting pedestrians to follow the landscape into the courtyard where one can reach each of the three entrances. Cyclists enter the half sunken basement along a mellow slope down from the Cambridgelaan. They entre back into the courtyard, in that way students are brought together to mingle. The courtyard has several planting and seating areas where students can meet. Glazed panels block wind speeds to generate a modest climate.
The project is designed in an integral BIM method together with all advisors and producers in one 3D model under supervision of the contractor. The façade, construction and installation are made from prefabricated elements in student unit sizes allowing for a prosperous construction process and a clean building site. The 6m high plinth and basement are cast in situ to generate a table construction on which all prefabricated elements can be towed. In that way all building parts are detachable making the design circular.