Designing for Students – Architecture and Accommodation

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When designers and architects think about student accommodation, new and inspiring design probably isn’t the first thing that comes to their minds. However, there are numerous examples of student accommodation that have embraced their young clientele, with fresh and inspiring spaces designed with students in mind.

There is now a new generation of students who are looking for high-end, luxurious accommodation and this is providing new opportunities for bold design and brave architecture for student halls.

Around the world there are some incredible examples of student accommodation done right. A Guardian article about the world’s best student housing listed the top 10 student architecture projects from India to Italy to Denmark.

Student accommodation can offer architects unique opportunities to develop new ideas and concepts. A young and open-minded audience has allowed certain architects to create incredible examples of student accommodation.

Baker House at MIT was designed by Alvar Aalto and completed in 1946. The unusual snaking design of the building was created to allow every student to have a view over the Charles river. Individuality was also important to the Finnish architect, with 22 different shaped bedrooms per floor making this one of the most sought-after places to live on campus.

Another example is The Indian Institute of Management Dormitories in Ahmedabad which were designed by Louis Kahn. These buildings are another fine example of architecture designed for students. It features bold cylindrical forms and open and closed spaces woven together inspired by traditional Indian patterns. Large landing spaces were designed for informal teaching and group study, and the cloisters and walkways encourage interaction between students.

A modern example of amazing architecture for students is Tietgen Student Halls in Ørestad, Copenhagen. Designed by Danish architects Lundgaard and Tranberg and completed in 2006, this Panopticon building won awards for its sensitive and unique design. Copper and oak facades and bright interior design make this a colourful and inspiring place for its young residents. Described by ArchSpace as an example of architecture at its best – ‘In the thoughtful analysis of the needs of a modern student of both private and shared spaces, the façade’s warm language balancing livelihood with respect of the residents and the use of tactile material and circular shape in an area in desperate need of human-scaled architecture and breathing room’. The development also has 7 floors, a café, party area, green courtyard, garages, laundry rooms, bicycle parking and 360 comfortable rooms, providing everything a modern student needs.

Student accommodation is also providing lucrative investment opportunities and these bold new developments are offering students the spaces they are looking for. Property investment specialists like RW Invest have student apartments available for less that £50,000 and their high-end student properties boast innovative design.

Private studios with en-suites are allowing students to have their own space, which is balanced by specially designed communal spaces for socialising too. A range of amenities like on-site gyms, study rooms, cafes, lounges and landscaped gardens are catering for students increasingly particular tastes.

As the number of students in the UK continue to rise, bold innovative developments are filling the gap for students who want more than shabby, dull accommodation. New developments and intelligent architecture is allowing students to live in places that inspire them and allow them to study and live harmoniously.

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