A homage to Birmingham’s natural springs and historic tiled swimming baths.
The development for Uliving, Bouygues’ owned and managed student accommodation offer, involved the demolition of an existing 1970s office block on the triangular shape site at the junction of Bath Row and Islington Row Middleway. The site is opposite Five Ways train station, with a canal and cycle paths adjacent, and conveniently located for all university campuses.
The objective was to create a striking building form on this prominent site, with interesting spaces within an accessible, safe and attractive urban environment.
This 435-bed scheme is a mixture of en-suite clusters and individual studios, built over 12 storeys. The student accommodation compromises 360 en-suite bedrooms in 6- and 8-bedroom apartments with communal kitchen/living/dining spaces expressed with full height curtain walling. The scheme also offers 75 studio bedrooms.
The active ground floor area includes office and administration, gym facilities, and large common area with a cafe serving element. There is also an 85m² retail space available.
The prominent 100m street frontage addresses both Islington Row Middleway and Bath Row.
The design story was conceived in collaboration with Robert Hirschfield Architects and then developed in detail by Stride Treglown with a focus on the aesthetic and functionality of materials.
The building is clad with numerous glazed aluminium extrusions in an assortment of profiles and colours creating a gentle, rippling water-like veil to the structure. This is an homage to Bath Row and the city’s history that included a natural spring and numerous tiled swimming baths of the 1720s. It also makes links to important examples of the city’s civic architecture such as the Moseley Road Baths of 1907.
The scheme was delivered by rg+p architects and completed in September 2020.