Polden

  • Location

    Bath

  • Client

    University of Bath

  • Completion

    2019

  • Size

    293 bedrooms

  • Shortlisted

    Student Accommodation Development of the Year

    Insider SW Residential Property Awards 2019

  • Shortlisted

    University Halls of the Year

    Student Accommodation Awards 2020

A 293 bed purpose-built accommodation scheme

Polden, for the Unversity of Bath’s Claverton Down campus, is a 293 bed purpose-built postgraduate accommodation scheme.

Designed to help the University achieve its vision “to be recognised as an international centre of research and teaching excellence”, the accommodation focuses on the latest industry thinking in how the student living and studying experience can seamlessly integrate.

The new buildings range from 4 storeys to 7 storeys and take advantage of the natural slope in the site from north to south.

The buildings are connected to their surroundings by a homezone that improves links between the landscaped courtyard, student residences and neighbouring academic buildings. The design also reduces the impact of vehicular traffic on the development.

Internally, bedrooms of 16.75m² (compared to the standard 13m²) create a comfortable living and study environment. They feature large windows to maximise natural light and have generous storage space.

Bedrooms are organised in groups of eight to form cluster flats. Each cluster has access to a shared kitchen and dining space with defined social and group study areas.

Facilities also include a gym and additional meeting suites for group working. These are located on the visually prominent south east corner of the scheme which creates a strong connection to 10West, an academic facility located opposite.

A neutral palette of materials, including natural stone cladding, complements external finishes used elsewhere on campus. Perforated metal cladding panels to the circulation cores, window reveals and lower ground floor create texture contrast and allow dappled light within the interior spaces. This theme is carried through to the landscape design where rock filled gabion baskets form retaining walls.

Factory built bathrooms

The University wanted to develop a bespoke ensuite bathroom pod that better suited the luxury postgraduate aesthetic. We worked with Offsite Solutions to design and develop a suitable solution.

The pods are made from GRP panels, with a pressed tile finish giving the impression of a fully tiled room but with no mouldy grout to clean. We visited the factory with the client to chose the fittings and finishes.

A mock up pod was assembled for us to test with the University’s maintenance team. Once the final tweaks were amended the pods were put into manufacture. They were delivered to site as a sealed systems and craned into place.