Construction work has started on site for a new £13m student accommodation scheme to create a 409 bedroom development in Newcastle.
The Shieldfield development, which has taken five years to come to fruition, has been designed by xsite architecture (xsite) and its carefully considered design has been created to minimise impact on its immediate surroundings.
Set out over three connecting blocks rising to seven storeys, the scheme will span the area between Stoddart Street and Clarence Street on the east side of the city, regenerating a site previously occupied by light industrial buildings and a brick-built office and warehouse.
Working on behalf of developer BAM Connislow, a JV between BAM Properties and specialist developer Connislow, which was specifically formed to create student accommodation, xsite’s brief was to create a scheme that would maximise the amount of accommodation that could be created while minimising the impact it would have on the local community.
Xsite’s team has achieved this by creating a scheme which, at its tallest, will reach seven-storeys dropping in height across the three connecting blocks to four-storeys. In addition, the architect has opted for a sophisticated palette of materials including a variety of contemporary claddings and metallic finishes in bronze and silver as well as cement fibre panels in a range of natural colours.
Xsite has a track record when it comes to designing student accommodation, the most recent of which includes developments at Ainsley Street and Green Lane Durham, where a total of 335 beds were created.
Speaking about this latest scheme, xsite’s founding partner, Tim Bailey, said:
“For a variety reasons this scheme has been a challenging one to get out of the ground. However, it is extremely satisfying for everyone involved to see that all the hard work has paid off as construction commences.
“Newcastle’s student population is growing, particularly with regard to overseas students and with that comes an expectation for higher quality accommodation. I believe that we have not only responded to our client’s brief successfully, we have also designed buildings that will more than meet the needs of the students who will occupy them from September 2017.”
Now on site the main challenges for BAM Construction lie with the fact that there is a main sewer running under the site as well as a telephone mast and gas governor situated on the boundary, leaving little room for site set up.
According to BAM’s Construction Director, Andrew Warwick, careful pre planning and build scheduling will be key to successful delivery.
Once ready for occupation the accommodation will be available as direct lets and will be managed by Fresh Student Living a specialist company which manages student accommodation across the UK.