The Crescent, Plymouth

Written by Mike Hall Board Director

A constrained site on an ancient burial ground adjacent a conservation area in a tall building zone opposite a grade II* listed building located in Plymouth…what more could you hope for in a project?

This £18m mixed use scheme provides 348 beds of student accommodation with retail mix at ground floor across two sites totalling 0.14ha. Providing 14 storeys of accommodation this will be the tallest modular build using Elements Europe’s offsite modular construction techniques. We worked closely with the modular manufacturer to ensure our architectural vision could be realised whilst meeting the technical requirements of the modular build.


  • Student Accommodation


The Pickstock Group

1,400 m²



Our design evolved through effective collaboration between the client, design team, planning authority, English Heritage and public consultation. We focused on attaining a careful balance between the desire for high density modular construction whilst respecting the notable buildings within the conservation area; achieved through careful articulation of the façade and the use of sympathetic yet modern materials. We designed the strong vertical central element to acknowledge the importance of the Atheneum Street axis whilst the lower storeys were articulated to reflect the scale and rhythm of the façade of the listed buildings along The Crescent.

Go to Build


The constraints on the site were a real challenge when producing a design to ensure buildability without disruption to the adjacent highways and properties. The design of a concrete transfer deck construction up to 1st floor level provides a platform to build the modules from and provides essential construction / storage space beneath during the course of the works. We designed the scheme using structural integrated room and corridor modules taking full advantage of the efficiencies of off-site construction, enabling greater tolerances to be produced in the structure and reducing the time required on site.

The Team