This project to provide a new 273 bed student residence was part of a wider masterplan to replace some of the older existing student accommodation at the Edinburgh Campus and deliver new, state-of-the-art residences that are of the highest quality and contemporary design with an “Excellent” BREEAM rating and that would ultimately provide up to 2000 bed spaces once the full programme of replacement accommodation is realised.
A key objective of the project was to achieve higher quality accommodation than average student accommodation normally provides. This enhances the student experience and in turn enhances the University’s offer and their ability to attract students.
This project involves replacing all existing student accommodation at the Heriot-Watt University Borders Campus whilst maintaining the operation of the existing residences and construction being carried out within a live environment of existing resident students.
The steeply sloping site and the requirement to keep the existing halls fully operational until the new residences are complete as well specific local planning issues have together presented a unique series of challenges for the design team to overcome. The type of student housed in these residences was a key factor in the development of the brief. Predominantly design and textiles students, the end users requirements demanded larger rooms, more generous space for studying and layout both in bedrooms and other study/social spaces provided.