Bath Court Student Residence, Birmingham Campus Housing, West Midlands, England Architecture News, Images

Bath Court Student Residence in Birmingham

25 Jun 2021

Design: Robert Hirschfield Architects

Location: Birmingham, West Midlands, England

Bath Court Student Residences Birmingham

Bath Court Student Residences

The Bath Court Building is a 435-bed scheme made up of a mixture of en-suite clusters and individual studios, built over 12 storeys. The student accommodation consists of 360 ensuite bedrooms within 6 and 8 bedroom apartments as well as 75 studio bedrooms.

The prominent 100m street frontage wraps itself around two sides of the site. The lower level is anchored by a new retail unit, gym, communal social space and silent study areas, with the upper levels providing the apartment accommodation for the students. To the rear, a large landscaped raised terrace provides external space for the students.

An assortment of blue glazed aluminium extrusions gives the building an overall water-like effect which references the historic Victorian public baths in the Bath Row area.

Bath Court Student Residences Birmingham

Challenge
This was LinkCity’s first student accommodation scheme in the Midlands. They were looking to strengthen their development offering and already had hold of a site in Birmingham that was deemed underdeveloped.

When RHA were first asked to explore massing studies for the site, it was clear that the site was underdeveloped and that the existing 1970s office blocks had potential under a new asset class.

The development sits at a corner section of several major roads leading to the city centre and Birmingham New Street train station. However, the existing building fell flat of providing an accessible, safe and attractive urban environment on this prominent site.

Early considerations, such as lack of parking provision, drew us to student accommodation as a solution. However, we needed to ensure there was the justification and the demand for 435 new student rooms in Birmingham. The local planning authority had challenged us to design a high quality building so as not to affect future resource as many other recent examples are not fit for purpose only a few years on.

Robert Hirschfield Architects carried out a feasibility study for the site in 2011 and were then appointed as the concept architects that developed the design narrative working alongside Stride Treglown during the planning stages. RHA remained involved through the design and construction phases with the project completing in August 2020.

Bath Court Student Residences Birmingham

The Architects Perspective
As a practice, we are known for high-quality residential design, so relished the challenge of applying similar principles to student accommodation within budget.

Today, the expectation for quality student accommodation is very high, certainly more so than when we started on the scheme over a decade ago. However, we were confident that we could deliver designs that went above the expectations of the end-user.

The prominent site sits just outside the city centre and at a crossroad, so is very visible. Close to all of the city’s higher education institutions, the notable corner location acts as a ‘gateway’ into the city centre and utilises a deep triangular plan. We knew we could be playful with the designs and deliver a building that has since become a landmark for Birmingham and its university students.

Bath Court Student Residences Birmingham

We looked to the area’s local and historic context for the building’s exterior design. During the 18th century, Bath Row and the city of Birmingham were home to a natural spring and numerous tiled swimming baths, housed by some of the best examples of the city’s civic architecture.

The assortment of blue glazed aluminium extrusions that wrap around Bath Court gives the building a distinctive character and water-like effect to reflect the links Bath Row has to the Victorian public baths. We worked closely with the cladding suppliers and four new dies were created for the effect.

We incorporated a mixture of self-contained studios and room cluster layouts with a focus on social and communal spaces, to give the build longevity and flexibility. We incorporated social space and study areas on the ground floor to animate the street frontage and increase pedestrian footfall in what was previously a predominantly vehicular thoroughfare. We created a large landscaped raised terrace provides external space.

Bath Court Student Housing in Birmingham, UK – Building Information

Design: Robert Hirschfield Architects

● Completed August 2020
● 435 bed scheme is a mixture of en-suite clusters and individual studios, built over 12 storeys
● 13,000 sq. ft.
● 100m street frontage
● One mile southwest of Birmingham City Centre
● Replacement of 1970s low rise office blocks
● Facilities comprising a new retail unit, gym, communal social space and silent study areas

Project name: Bath Court (a.k.a. ‘Altura’)
Location: Birmingham
Main contractor and client: Bouygues Development UK (Uliving)
Concept Architect – Robert Hirschfield Architects
Architect – design up to planning stage: Stride Treglown
Cladding: Sotech
Building Envelope Installer: M Clarkes

Bath Court Student Residences Birmingham

Photo credits: Gary Britton

Bath Court Student Residence, Birmingham images / information received 250621

Location: Birmingham, West Midlands, England, UK

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