Madeira Road, Bournemouth Student Accommodation

The Madeira Road car park site was released for re-development by Bournemouth Borough Council as part of its Town Centre Master Vision. The aim was to maximize the site potential by providing new halls of residence for the Arts University Bournemouth housing 378 students, together with a 400 space, public multi-storey car park. 

The site is located in the vibrant seaside town of Bournemouth in a prominent location that acts as a gateway site on the approach to Bournemouth and Poole.

The developer, Bournemouth Development Company (BDC), is a limited liability partnership between Bournemouth Council and Morgan Sindall Investments. Established in 2010, BDC seeks to deliver much of the Town Centre Master Vision through the re-development of council-owned land. Madeira Road was the first of many projects designed and delivered by BrightSpace Architects and has become a local landmark when entering the town.

The site was a former underused public car park, and after a number of previous attempts to regenerate this difficult site, BrightSpace Architects were appointed to develop a solution for student accommodation. The design received unanimous planning approval in 2013 and was completed on site in September 2014. During the design phase, there were a range of challenges to consider including the protection of mature trees – these were retained and incorporated into the landscaping of the development in between the buildings to enhance the external communal areas.

The halls of residence deliver 374 rooms and 4 studios within three separate blocks of student accommodation which vary in height between four and seven storeys and are accessed via a central facilities block. All rooms are single occupancy and are arranged in clusters of six to eight rooms with a shared kitchen and lounge to promote interaction between students.

Self-contained studios are designed with their own kitchen facilities and provide a fully equipped living experience. All rooms and studios include their own en-suites and have full internet access via Ethernet and WiFi. There are on-site laundry facilities and a large common room which is the heart of the complex and has successfully encouraged interaction between students and a real community spirit.

Due to its town centre location, Madeira Road has no dedicated student parking but, encourages students to use sustainable modes of transport. This is supported with 180 secure cycle spaces and easy access to both the local bus network and main Bournemouth train station which are a short walk away.

Since its completion, Madeira Road Student Accommodation has played an important role in the development of AUB and has helped attract prospective students. It was the first purpose-built student accommodation for the university and has acted as a catalyst for other higher education buildings on campus. The building offers superb facilities and an inspiring, safe environment to study and enjoy university life in Bournemouth.

Photography by Martin Gardner

Client: Bournemouth Development Company and Arts University Bournemouth

Contract Value: £16 Million

Appointment: Full Service

Status: Completed