Arthur takes a look at a few wacky student housing developments in the UK and worldwide as well as some inspiring ideas for university towns here in the UK.
A property sector which this year is expected to total a record £4.7bn shows the scale of these developments and the demand within the student market. Student housing is becoming more apparent in our cities across the UK. Some are questionable in terms of design and colour, with the negative press regarding a couple of these new builds, for example the new development Greetham Street Student halls in Portsmouth. There is also the worry of several student blocks failing its claddings system fire safety tests, which have sent alarm bells ringing.
One reason for the buildings not fitting into surrounding architecture is the fact student accommodation fall outside a specific class use and it doesn’t have to adhere with the common standards set with dwellings. However, each to their own, some may find these an eye sore but they could be practical in many ways and there is a need to meet demand.
The UK has seen some luxury modern new builds with attractive architecture and these come with a big price tag which hits the £250 a week bracket.
‘The Chapter’ in London King’s Cross London, built in the old NatWest’s old headquarters, interior reflects the areas railway heritage and build with steel & concrete with carriage style booth seating and ceramic tiling. This offers an alternative design approach with interesting interior! Next on the list is Cowan Court in Cambridge. This has a blend of blackened oak walls, exposed beams and large picture windows with 70 rooms. The overall effect is a bold striking building as seen in the photograph above which has been called ”The first wooden brutalist building”, very wacky indeed and it may not suit everybody’s taste.
Looking overseas, Simmons Hall in Massachusetts is modelled on a sea sponge! It has a spaceship feel exterior with an award winning ”lungs feature” allowing fresh air to circulate around the whole building as well as letting natural light in. This accommodation offers 344 rooms with a starting rent cost of £1,102 a month!
These new ideas are something to keep in the back of your head if you are looking into developing student accommodation, there should be a shift from the mindset of student digs being small, damp and plain to spacious more exciting/fun and innovative student housing.
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