David Granger Architectural Design News

Student Accommodation, Derby

Discover the transformation of this former warehouse near Derby University into modern student accommodation.

Our clients initially engaged David Granger Architectural Design Ltd in 2018 to consider converting a former warehouse building in Derby city centre to form student accommodation.

The building was ideally located close to Derby University’s four campuses in the city centre. The area around Agard Street is undergoing much regeneration and becoming a go-to destination for university-goers from across the county and international students worldwide.

After initially securing approval for 32 studios and evaluating the construction process, we decided that demolishing the existing warehouse and constructing a purpose-built building would be a more bespoke and better solution, offering much more potential to create a truly stunning building.

Due to a change of circumstances, our client marketed the building with the benefit of its planning permission, which was obtained by Marlix Student Living in 2011. They have completed the project to a very high specification, resulting in some of the best student accommodation around the Derby area.

The new building utilises a specialist timber frame construction method, meaning that much of the building was fabricated off-site. This resulted in the main structure of the building from ground level upwards and being completed in just a matter of weeks. This rapid build process gave the main contractor and specialist sub-contractors sufficient time to finish the building interior to a very high standard.

The building comprises 32 self-contained, all en-suite, very high-end apartments fitted out by a specialist interiors company, including technology such as home automation and customisable lighting.

We considered the design of the building carefully in conjunction with Derby City Council. It features a half brick, half copper clad design, resulting in a modern and contemporary building that sits well amongst its settings.

Being a city centre location, the site was surrounded by other buildings, meaning careful planning was needed for the design and construction of the building to ensure the city centre’s services, drainage, rights of way and fire escape routes were all maintained during the build and after construction. This required careful planning by the main contractor, as space was limited given the size of the building and busy city centre conditions.

The project was completed in the early summer of 2023 in preparation for the new university year starting at the end of September. It provides a mix of studios, including en-suite rooms with views overlooking Derby City, ground-floor suites with private garden spaces and larger platinum suites with full-size en-suite bathrooms and baths, all of which are set to provide high-quality living conditions for the students of Derby.


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