A project to build en-suite cluster student accommodation for Kingston University students has progressed well and was completed at the end of August.
The site is named Davidson House, situated at 3-5 Penrhyn Road in Kingston upon Thames. The scheme is made up of 10 clusters consisting of five to ten en-suite rooms with a shared kitchen facility, aimed at the first year students attending the University.
The main contractor of the project was Watkin Jones & Sons whom began on site in June 2013 and successfully completed the developments within the deadline of August 2014, ready for students to arrive for the start of term. Carey Jones Architects created the design concept for the site and worked on the interior, providing the added touches and final finishes.
The private accommodation integrates rooms that are similar to studios however a lot more economical, and this approach was targeted as it was seen as a less expensive yet still comfortable provision for the students to live in. The site is located within a minute of the Knight’s Campus at Kingston University, therefore almost immediately adjacent to Kingston University property.
Premier Construction caught up with Managing Director of Northridge Capital Ltd, Ray Terrafranca, to find out some information on the project. Ray said:
“Kingston University were thoroughly interested in the cluster concept as they effectively guarantee first year student accommodation and typically they want to put first years in more economical, cluster rooms if not the University halls.
Universities like providing halls and shared accommodation especially for first year students, to encourage them to interact and as there are students from all over the world – a readymade social environment allows students of all cultures and backgrounds to mingle. Furthermore, they are less expensive and also provide a pastoral care element which is important to the University.”
A large common room is available for students to socialise and relax in, including a pool table and large screen LCD TV. Davidson House is equipped with fully wired and wireless internet and cable TV.
The four-storey building evokes a contemporary, clean and bright feel, with colourful décor and stylish furniture. In total there are 87 bedrooms with four of them DDA compliant. The building is complete with a basement which holds the bike racks and the laundry room for students to wash their clothes. According to Ray, the existence of the basement meant a little extra work and time but other than this, the development ran very smoothly.
“It’s our first student housing project and we wanted to make sure it was successful so we allied ourselves with Watkin Jones which is a good contractor. They’ve built a large number of these student accommodation developments so they are highly experienced. We also entered into a management contract with Fresh Student Living an affiliate of the Watkin Jones Group to manage the scheme for us.”
“It was a great opportunity for us and with our first student accommodation project being successful it sets the tone for continuing to invest in this sector. We have provided much needed additional student accommodation which benefits the local community and also provides the University with high quality facilities to attract more students.”