Opal 1, Student Accommodation

We were commissioned to design and build a student housing project including accommodation for 971 people, leisure facilities including a swimming pool, retail unit and an on-site management suite.

A building of this scale is in danger of being a real monolithic block, and we felt that so much ‘cheap' accommodation was defined by this. The design solution presented something inviting, interesting, intriguing and attractive. ‘Blocks', extracted from the mass of the building, allow light and skyline into the courtyard. From the outside they break up the building so that it is visually more interesting, less imposing than it might be, and open - we didn't want this student accommodation to be closed off too much from its surroundings.

The external treatment of the building minimised materials to the use of slate, zinc effect cladding, brickwork and brightly coloured decorative fins between the windows, creating a more playful feel to the building and reducing the impact of an otherwise monolithic façade.

To improve timescales and make good use of budget, we used pre-fabricated bathroom pods, created in a controlled environment and cutting down significantly on construction time, making a real cost saving for our client.


  • Student Accommodation


Ocon Construction


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